Archiv: experts / bureaucrats / advisers / technocrats / plutocrats / functionaries / cadres / apparatchiks / apparatus


07:06 [ Marc Garlasco, @PAXPoC Military Advisor was DIA, HRW, CNA, UN analyst in defense, human rights, and targeting specialized in collateral damage ]

Heading to Germany soon to participate in an #urbanwarfare #wargame with #NATO focused on protecting civilians in an Article 5 scenario.

It’s open to web based participation! Joining info below @LarryLewis_
@SpencerGuard
@40ID_DeputyCG
@SebastianBae
@AndrewBellUS
@KaurinShanks

03:16 [ ForeignPolicy.com ]

Only Congress Can End Washington’s Endless Wars

(07.10.2021)

The war on terror is a constitutional aberration. The U.S. legislature must reclaim its war powers from an overempowered executive branch.

02:50 [ Michael O'Grady / Twitter ]

The 2022 military spending bill, known as the #NDAA, which passed the House on Sept. 23 would hand a whopping $740 billion to the Pentagon and $38 billion to other departments, for a total of $778 billion in military spending, a $37 billion increase over last year’s budget.

(07.10.2021)

14.10.2021 - 00:29 [ NBC Washington ]

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Spar on Vaccine Mandates, Education

When an educator asked if that meant requiring vaccines for school children, McAuliffe did not hesitate.

“If the CDC says these vaccinations are safe for our children than I want everybody to be vaccinated,”he said.

13.10.2021 - 08:10 [ the Hill ]

Texas governor opens new front on vaccine mandates

Abbott’s move is an escalation in the Republican battle against vaccine mandates, something that many public health experts view as a key tool in the fight against the pandemic, given that voluntary efforts like incentives have hit their limits. The politicization of vaccine mandates could also undermine vaccination efforts even for other diseases, some experts warn.

23.09.2021 - 16:48 [ National Geographic ]

Why you may not need a COVID-19 booster yet after all

/17.09.2021)

Given what we know about breakthrough infections, most experts remain unconvinced there’s enough data to justify an extra dose for most Americans.

23.09.2021 - 16:42 [ whyy.org ]

FDA advisory panel rejects widespread Pfizer booster shots

(12.09.2021)

Over several hours of discussion, members of the Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts voiced frustration that Pfizer had provided little data on safety of extra doses.

And they complained that data provided by Israeli researchers about their booster campaign might not be suitable for predicting the U.S. experience.

23.09.2021 - 06:44 [ Pharmaceutical-Technology.com ]

Covid-19 vaccines and periods: what do we know so far?

(July 22nd, 2021)

Quickly gaining attention is another potential side effect that some jab recipients have noticed: changes to their periods and menstrual cycles.

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has so far received more than 13,000 reports from people who have experienced period changes after having a Covid-19 jab.

23.09.2021 - 06:40 [ Sky.com ]

COVID-19: More than 13,000 women report changes to periods after having vaccine but experts say fertility not affected

(7 July 2021)

The number of women reporting changes to their menstrual cycle linked to having a COVID vaccine has risen to 13,000.

The figure has increased from around 4,000 women last month.

16.09.2021 - 18:28 [ Washington Post ]

Natural immunity to covid is powerful. Policymakers seem afraid to say so.

More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of immunity acquired by previously having the virus. A 700,000-person study from Israel two weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic covid infection than those who were vaccinated.

16.09.2021 - 18:20 [ Yahoo.com ]

Fauci lacks ‚firm answer‘ on COVID-19 natural immunity question

(13.09.2021)

Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, was asked on Friday by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta whether people who have tested positive for the virus should still get a shot. He cited data from Israel in August suggesting people who recovered from COVID-19 had a lower risk of contracting the delta variant than those who got a full Pfizer vaccine.

11.09.2021 - 13:55 [ Zero Hedge ]

Biden Adviser Says President „Will Run Over“ GOP Governors Who Resist Vaccine Mandate

„The one thing I admire about this president is the fact that we are always going to put people above politics. And we’re going to fight for those who really need our help,“ Richmond told CNN in response to a question about governors resisting the mandate. „And those governors that stand in the way, I think, it was very clear from the president’s tone today that he will run over them,“ he added.

„And it is important. It’s not for political purposes. It’s to save the lives of American people. And so, we won’t let one or two individuals stand in the way. We will always err on the side of protecting the American people.“

10.09.2021 - 19:44 [ NBC News ]

‚A heavy price‘: Two decades of war, wariness and the post-9/11 security state

What Biden outlined was pointedly not an end to the post-9/11 era. Rather, it was a much narrower admission that an idea once shared by conservatives, liberals and foreign policy elites, including Biden himself — that the U.S. could use force to destroy other societies and then rebuild them in America’s image — had proved a failure. And it was an acknowledgment that the nature of warfare, not the enemy, has changed for the world’s pre-eminent superpower.

09.09.2021 - 15:35 [ Advisory.com ]

Covid-19 vaccine immunity may be waning. Here’s what that means—and doesn’t.

Explanations for Israel’s vaccine effectiveness data

When Israeli researchers announced last month that people vaccinated in the winter were more likely to contract Covid than those who had been vaccinated in the spring, many assumed this demonstrated waning vaccine effectiveness.

The data from Israel’s Ministry of Health suggested that vaccine effectiveness against both infection and symptomatic disease had decreased to around 40%, but this decline may have been due to other factors and not the vaccines, Wu writes

07.09.2021 - 04:26 [ Glenn Greenwald ]

Ben Rhodes‘ Book Proves Obama Officials‘ Lies, and His Own, About Edward Snowden and Russia

The memoir of Rhodes, now appropriately an MSNBC contributor, is an incredibly self-serving homage to himself that repeatedly attempts to demonstrate his own importance and accomplishments. The passage about Rhodes’ conduct regarding Snowden is very much aligned with those goals. While repeatedly emphasizing how traumatic the Snowden revelations were for the Obama administrations, Rhodes boasts of the crucial role he played in preventing Snowden from leaving Russia as the NSA whistleblower was desperately attempting to do so — exactly the opposite of what people like Rhodes and Hillary Clinton were telling the public about Snowden.

It is really beyond words how willing these people are to lie.

06.09.2021 - 18:11 [ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Washington Post ]

Improving communications around vaccine breakthrough and vaccine effectiveness

(July 29, 2021)

Vaccine breakthrough cases may reduce public confidence in vaccines

(…)

Delta variant vaccine breakthrough cases may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases

06.09.2021 - 18:02 [ CitizenFreePress.com ]

CDC didn’t want you to see this data…

(August 5, 2021)

A graph, originally created by the New York Times, shows internal CDC documents acquired from the Washington Post of how infectious and lethal the delta variant is in comparison to other diseases.

06.09.2021 - 16:18 [ Language Log / University of Pennsylvania ]

Merriam-Webster gives „vaccine“ a new definition

(April 30, 2021)

Prefatory note: In this post, I take the noun „vaccine“ as the basic word under discussion, but also consider other cognate terms („vaccinate“, „vaccination“).

Here’s a standard dictionary entry for „vaccine“:

n.

1. any preparation of weakened or killed bacteria or viruses introduced into the body to prevent a disease by stimulating antibodies against it.
2. the virus of cowpox, used in vaccination, obtained from pox vesicles of a cow or person.
3. a software program that helps to protect against computer viruses.

[1800–05; < New Latin (variolae)vaccīnae cowpox = vacc(a) cow + -īnae, feminine pl. of -īnus -ine] Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary (cited) Let us compare that with the new M-W entry for "vaccine": : a preparation that is administered (as by injection) to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious disease:

06.09.2021 - 16:10 [ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC.gov ]

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigation and Reporting

For the purpose of this surveillance, a vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Identifying and investigating hospitalized or fatal vaccine breakthrough cases

CDC monitors reported hospitalized or fatal vaccine breakthrough cases for clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage. Reported data include hospitalized or fatal breakthrough cases due to any cause, including causes not related to COVID-19.

(<....) Hospitalized or fatal COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases reported to CDC as of August 30, 2021

As of August 30, 2021, more than 173 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

During the same time, CDC received reports from 49 U.S. states and territories of 12,908 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infection who were hospitalized or died.

06.09.2021 - 16:01 [ medpagetoday.com ]

Why CDC Changed Its ‚Breakthrough Case‘ Definition

(May 26, 2021)

The CDC’s recent shift in monitoring breakthrough COVID-19 infections after vaccination hasn’t sat well with everyone, as some scientists are concerned it could miss the full picture of what is happening with these breakthrough cases.

As of May 1, the agency went from monitoring all breakthrough infections after COVID-19 vaccination to focusing on only hospitalized or fatal cases.

05.09.2021 - 21:31 [ The Reclaim Party / Twitter ]

„The reason Keir Starmer and the Labour Party did not oppose anything that the Government did with any degree of effectiveness is because the Government abdicated its political duties to experts…That is the start of totalitarianism.“ @WeAreFairCop told @talkRADIO

01.09.2021 - 13:16 [ theGuardian.com ]

Raab rejects US claims Britain indirectly to blame for Kabul attacks

(31.08.2021)

“We coordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat, which we anticipated although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey gate, but it is just not true to suggest that other than securing our civilians inside the airport that we were pushing to leave the gate open.

“In fact, and let me just be clear about this, we were issuing changes to travel advice before the bomb attack took place and saying to people in the crowd, about which I was particularly concerned, that certainly UK nationals and anyone else should leave because of the risk.”

01.09.2021 - 13:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

US military ‚blames BRITAIN for making Kabul suicide attack death toll worse‘: Leaked Pentagon papers say airport gate had to be kept open for UK evacuees – as questions grow over how many were killed by panicked troops firing on civilians

(30.08.2021)

The British Ministry of Defence declined to respond to allegations they were to blame for keeping the gate open, but said in a statement: ‚Throughout Operation Pitting we have worked closely with the US to ensure the safe evacuation of thousands of people.

01.09.2021 - 12:56 [ theGuardian.com ]

Report reveals US decision to keep open Kabul airport gate before attack

(30.08.2021)

The Pentagon criticised the leaking of the call details reported in Politico, telling the news website: “This story is based on the unlawful disclosure of classified information and internal deliberations of a sensitive nature.

“As soon as we became aware of the material divulged to the reporter, we engaged Politico at the highest levels to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at greater risk. We condemn the unlawful disclosure of classified information and oppose the publication of a story based on it while a dangerous operation is ongoing.”

01.09.2021 - 12:32 [ Politico.com ]

Exclusive: Pentagon prepared for ‘mass casualty’ attack at Kabul Airport hours before explosion

(30.08.2021)

Commanders calling in from Kabul relayed that the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was “highest risk,” and detailed their plans to protect the airport.

“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Austin said, according to the classified notes.

On a separate call at 4 that afternoon, or 12:30 a.m. on Thursday in Kabul, the commanders detailed a plan to close Abbey Gate by Thursday afternoon Kabul time. But the Americans decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal timeline, to continue evacuating their personnel, based at the nearby Baron Hotel.

01.09.2021 - 12:20 [ Antiwar.com ]

87 Retired Admirals and Generals Demand Resignation of SECDEF and CJCS

(30.08.2021)

The letter takes aim at the President and the highest ranks of military leadership, but mostly chastises them for not doing more to convince the Commander-in-Chief to maintain a US troop presence in the country.

Despite reported assurances from the Taliban that the remaining Americans who desire to leave Afghanistan will be afforded the opportunity to do so, the letter claims they are „de facto hostages of the Taliban“.

Strangely, the letter also claims that China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea are the beneficiaries of the withdrawal.

27.08.2021 - 17:41 [ Glenn Greenwald / Rumble ]

Permanent War Advocates Exploit the Kabul Bombing to Demand More War

Glenn Greenwald analyzes the reactions to the horrific terror attack in Kabul this morning, and debunks the propagandistic talking points used by Deep State operatives and their media allies to push the US into indefinite war.

27.08.2021 - 17:29 [ Cato Institute / Twitter ]

The War on Terror was an ill‐​defined campaign that eroded safeguards built into U.S. institutions, enhanced execute power, & gave federal agencies license to engage in torture & other crimes. “Reign of Terror” author @attackerman joins the @CatoPodcast …

27.08.2021 - 17:29 [ The Lead CNN / Twitter ]

Amb. Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador to Afghanistan: “That’s one way to end a war: surrender. It’s real quick, but the war is yet to come. This whole withdrawal announcement and process has been an enormous morale boost for Islamic radicals everywhere.”

27.08.2021 - 17:04 [ Matt Taibbi / Twitter ]

Chait overlooks that the negative press for Biden this week is passing through the same loophole that allowed Trump to be praised by CNN when he bombed Syria – the overriding constant in American corporate media is fealty to the Pentagon.

27.08.2021 - 17:00 [ Lucas Tomlinson / Twitter ]

“We’re probably going to have to go back in” to Afghanistan to get ISIS, former defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta tells CNN

27.08.2021 - 16:51 [ The Post Millennial / Twitter ]

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald weighs in on the media’s response to the Afghanistan withdrawal: “That is the political party to which the media is most loyal when it comes to foreign affairs … it’s the military, and the CIA.”

24.08.2021 - 05:45 [ CNN ]

US military gives Biden a deadline to decide on extending Afghanistan evacuations

Military advisers have told the White House that the decision must be made by Tuesday in order to have enough time to withdraw the 5,800 troops currently on the ground, as well as their equipment and weapons. If the President agrees, the military anticipates „a few more days“ of trying to evacuate as many people as possible before the drawdown of US forces begins, possibly at the end of this week.

21.08.2021 - 14:51 [ Krystal Ball, Author of bestselling book: The Populist’s Guide to 2020 / Twitter ]

There are a million articles out right now with leaks from intel ghouls insisting that they tried to warn Biden that the Afghan Army would crumble immediately. This would suggest those articles should all be safely discarded as propaganda and bullshit.

21.08.2021 - 13:05 [ Fox News ]

Pompeo: Biden ‚has refused‘ to show leadership during Afghanistan ‚debacle‘

„I didn’t hear a single thing that would give comfort to the very allies you spoke about. I’ve heard from people in the region. They are frightened by the American collapse—the American collapse of temerity and strength and power that we demonstrated for four years that had frankly kept the Taliban at bay and prevented precisely what you’re precisely seeing happen today, and I didn’t hear a single thing that would frighten a single Taliban who thinks there’s any risk that this administration would impose any cost on them for their activities, for what they are doing to Americans today and holding them hostage—not permitting them to get into the airport in Kabul so that we can get them home to their families. „

21.08.2021 - 12:34 [ Warren Gunnels, Majority Staff Director for Budget Chairman @SenSanders / Twitter ]

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and other defense contractors received $445.5 billion from the Pentagon this year alone. All of them have been convicted or reached settlements for misconduct. Fraud is the business model of the military industrial complex.

21.08.2021 - 12:00 [ theGuardian.com ]

David Petraeus‘ bright idea: give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists

(2.9.2015)

Former CIA director David Petraeus is advocating giving arms to members of al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida off-shoot, to beat Isis. That is madness

21.08.2021 - 11:49 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

General David Petraeus tells Biden it was premature to leave Afghanistan because Al Qaeda was always ‚going to come back‘ and the Afghan forces were ’not sustainable‘

– Petraeus commanded forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and helped formulate ‚counterinsurgency‘ strategies
– He criticized Biden’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan in a New Yorker interview
– Disagreed with decision to pull out liaison, special forces trainers, contractors
– Said it began an epidemic of ’surrender‘ for the Afghans
– Called departure ‚premature‘ but didn’t say how much more time was needed
– Warned Al Qaeda could reemerge
– Acknowledged ‚overbuilt‘ nation-building aspects, but said it was necessary for a hand-off
– Biden said the U.S. could not fight when Afghans were unwilling to do so
– ‚To say that the Afghans won’t fight for their country needs an asterisk‘

21.08.2021 - 11:28 [ White House ]

Remarks by President Biden on Evacuations in Afghanistan

Now, Justin Sink of Bloomberg.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You just said that you would keep a laser-focus on counterterrorism efforts and that you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from Afghanistan as other parts of the world. But if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the Taliban would sweep through Afghanistan and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations, how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the U.S. to conduct over-the-horizon missions to keep it in check? Can you tell Americans that they’re safe and will remain safe from terror attacks in Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT: I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. One question was whether or not the Afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on.

No one — I shouldn’t say “no one” — the consensus was that it was highly unlikely that in 11 days they’d collapse and fall, and the leader of Afghanistan would flee the country.

20.08.2021 - 09:14 [ JM Rieger, Video Editor, The Washington Post / Twitter ]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley: “The intelligence clearly indicated that multiple scenarios were possible … there was nothing, that I or anyone else saw, that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.“

(18.08.2021)

20.08.2021 - 09:08 [ New York Post ]

‘Nothing I saw indicated a collapse of this government in 11 days’: Milley on Afghanistan

(18.08.2021)

“There was nothing that I saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”

His comments came just one day after sources told the New York Times that US intelligence officials had been warning of a quick Taliban takeover in Afghanistan — even as President Biden was publicly downplaying the threat.

19.08.2021 - 18:45 [ RollCall.com ]

Taliban takeover seen narrowing prospects for 2001 AUMF update

And Biden’s Monday characterization of the terrorist threat has some analysts like Anderson wondering just how narrow an AUMF the administration would support, particularly if it’s one that that includes geographic limitations.

“Their logic, now the way they are describing counterterrorism operations, sounds like the last three presidential administrations who have said, ‘This is why we can’t take away the 2001 AUMF,’” said Anderson, a former attorney-adviser at the State Department.

17.08.2021 - 13:44 [ CNN ]

Audit reveals Army’s trillion-dollar accounting gaffes

(August 23, 2016)

The audit, conducted by the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General, found that the Army erroneously made $2.8 trillion in adjustments in the third quarter of 2015 to its Army general fund – one of the main accounts used to fund the service. The error amount skyrocketed to $6.5 trillion for all of last year, the report said.

The June report, first disclosed by Reuters on Friday, found „unreliable“ data was used to prepare the financial statements, leading to the possibility that the Army’s finances were „materially misstated.“

17.08.2021 - 13:36 [ theFiscalTimes.com ]

Pentagon’s Sloppy Bookkeeping Means $6.5 Trillion Can’t Pass an Audit

(July 31, 2016)

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the behemoth Indianapolis-based agency that provides finance and accounting services for the Pentagon’s civilian and military members, could not provide adequate documentation for $6.5 trillion worth of year-end adjustments to Army general fund transactions and data.

(…)

A further mystery is what happened to thousands of documents that should be on file but aren’t. The IG study found that DFAS “did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System . . . removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during Q3 FY 2015.

17.08.2021 - 13:33 [ Salon.com ]

The Pentagon’s dark money: Billions of federal dollars are vanishing into thin air

(May 28, 2016)

Don’t for a moment imagine that the Pentagon’s growing list of secret programs and evasive budgetary maneuvers is accidental or simply a matter of sloppy bookkeeping. Much of it is remarkably purposeful. By keeping us in the dark about how it spends our money, the Pentagon has made it virtually impossible for anyone to hold it accountable for just about anything. An entrenched bureaucracy is determined not to provide information that might be used to bring its sprawling budget — and so the institution itself — under control.

15.08.2021 - 12:46 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Escape from Kabul: Diplomats flee US Embassy in Chinook helicopters as Taliban fighters storm Afghan capital – in stark echoes of the Fall of Saigon

– Helicopter – believed to be US Air Force Chinook – seen flying over Kabul today from the US Embassy in Kabul
– It comes as Taliban closes in on the Afghan capital with shots heard on outskirts before fighters stormed city
– Around 3,000 US troops have been sent into city to aid with US evacuation, while British troops also deployed
– It is believed around 500 British staff needed to be evacuated and by Saturday the number was in ‚the tens‘

15.08.2021 - 12:26 [ NPR.org ]

Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul As Helicopters Land At U.S. Embassy

Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Sunday and said they were awaiting a „peaceful transfer“ of the city after promising not to take it by force, but panicked residents raced to the leave, with workers fleeing government offices and helicopters landing at the U.S. Embassy.

14.08.2021 - 09:37 [ USA Today ]

Reports: US Embassy in Kabul directs staff to destroy sensitive documents as many diplomats prepare for evacuation

The memo to U.S. Embassy staff urged diplomats to destroy computers and other sensitive documents before they leave, as well as items featuring the American flag, embassy logos and other articles that „could be misused in propaganda efforts,“ according to CNN.

A State Department spokesperson said the notice was part of its „standard operating procedure“ for embassy drawdowns.

14.08.2021 - 09:17 [ theHill,com ]

US pushing to relocate thousands of Afghans in Qatar: report

“We are evaluating all available options. We have no announcements to make on third country relocation sites for Afghan SIV applicants,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement, referring to special immigrant visas.

The Biden administration said Thursday there would be 1,000 U.S. troops going to Qatar to help process applications from Afghans already in the country. The Afghans are seeking visas to the U.S. for assisting the U.S. during the war.

13.08.2021 - 09:23 [ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC.gov ]

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

(27.08.2021)

– If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

(…)

What We Know

– COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death.
– COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
– Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.
– If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.
– People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.

13.08.2021 - 09:21 [ New York Times ]

Covid-19: C.D.C. Reverses Testing Advice for Fully Vaccinated

Published July 28, 2021
Updated Aug. 12, 2021

Anyone who has been potentially exposed to the virus should get tested, the C.D.C. now says. Previous guidance recommended testing only for fully vaccinated people who were symptomatic.

12.08.2021 - 08:27 [ theHill.com ]

Pressure builds for full FDA approval of vaccines

(11.08.2021)

The latest mandate came Monday, when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced he would move to make the vaccine mandatory for troops by mid-September but would act “immediately” if it received full approval before then.

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, added to the chorus on Sunday, when he expressed hope that the approval would move quickly.

12.08.2021 - 08:06 [ Yahoo.com ]

Pentagon will seek to mandate Covid vaccine for 1.4 million troops

(09.08.2021)

DoD officials have made several calls to key lawmakers in recent days to gauge support for the mandate, according to a congressional source and a senior administration official familiar with the talks.

12.08.2021 - 08:01 [ Yahoo.com ]

Pentagon to seek approval to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory

(09.08.2021)

The Pentagon on Monday said that it will seek U.S. President Joe Biden’s approval by mid-September to require 1.3 million military members to get vaccinated against COVID-19, anticipating full regulatory clearance for a vaccine by then.

12.08.2021 - 07:50 [ apnews.com ]

Fauci hopeful COVID vaccines get full OK by FDA within weeks

(08.08.2021)

The FDA has only granted emergency-use approval of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but the agency is expected to soon give full approval to Pfizer.

04.08.2021 - 08:50 [ White House ]

Readout of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s Meeting with Incoming Israeli National Security Advisor Dr. Eyal Hulata

(02.08.2021)

Mr. Sullivan congratulated Dr. Hulata on his new role and emphasized that he looks forward to working together to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership. Mr. Sullivan and Dr. Hulata discussed the strategic challenges in the region, including the threat posed by Iran, and agreed to consult closely on these issues.

04.08.2021 - 08:48 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Bennett taps senior Mossad officer Hulata as national security adviser

(11.06.2021)

Hulata, 45, served as the head of the Mossad’s Department of Strategic and Political Planning and its Technology Department.

01.08.2021 - 12:00 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Spare us from the mental torture of crazy travel rules

It sometimes seems as if someone wants to punish us for wanting to live normally again.

30.07.2021 - 17:08 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

I refuse to be imprisoned by an incompetent Government invoking bogus science

The „amber plus“ regime for those returning from France is on one level a trivial detail, hardly newsworthy when set against the magnificent fiasco of the British pingdemic.

Yet nothing quite so illustrates the bureaucratic incoherence of Britain’s post-vaccination policy as this lunatic quarantine rule for travellers.

Furthermore, it is slightly alarming to see the authorities deploy the coercive power of the state so breezily, in such a random fashion, and in violation of the known scientific data. Bad habits are being formed.

30.07.2021 - 09:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

More than FIFTY Tory MPs are ready to vote against ‚misguided‘ Covid passports after Government is accused of introducing them ‚by stealth‘ by quietly updating NHS app – as Dominic Raab says they ‚make sense‘ for returning to the office

– Many Tory MPs are ‚horrified‘ by proposals to introduce mandatory passports
– They say it will create a ‚two-class society‘ and plan to block the plans
– Britons with both Covid-19 jabs can now add vaccine certificate to Apple Wallet
– ‚Get your NHS Covid Pass‘ section of the NHS App leads to ‚domestic‘ or ‚travel‘
– ‚Domestic‘ section will display name, date of birth and QR code confirming jabs
– ‚Travel‘ section has same information along with nine extra details for each dose
– Lib Dems: Government has ‚introduced Covid ID Cards by stealth onto phones‘

30.07.2021 - 08:44 [ Senior Editor @EpochTimes / Twitter ]

„Even if we disagree on issues like abortion rights or green energy…there’s a much bigger fight we have to unite for,“ says feminist author & journalist #NaomiWolf. The West is losing freedom of speech, assembly & even „rights to our bodies,“ Wolf says.

30.07.2021 - 08:11 [ Fox News ]

Dozens of House Republicans, staffers march maskless to Senate floor to protest mask mandate

Dozens of House Republicans and their staffers marched maskless out of the House to the Senate floor in protest of the new mask mandate for the lower chamber.

The lawmakers and their staffers traveled across the Capitol on Thursday to protest the fact that Capitol Police have instructed officers to arrest staffers and visitors who don’t wear masks and refuse to leave the House.

30.07.2021 - 08:07 [ Fox News ]

Conservative reaction pours in after Dem mayors, governors impose new mask mandates: ‚Kiss my mask‘

Democratic leaders around the country are facing criticism and blowback after they rushed to reimpose unpopular mask mandates following updated coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said this week that even vaccinated individuals in areas deemed as high-risk should return to wearing masks indoors – prompting the new wave in face-covering requirements.

27.07.2021 - 06:55 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

UK’s daily Covid cases drop for the SIXTH day in a row: Infections plummet 38% to 24,950 and deaths fall 24% to 14 – but No10 warns we’re ’not out of the woods yet‘ despite virus declining in every region of England

The Government and its scientific advisers had been expecting cases to rocket to at least 100,000 every day this autumn, with top SAGE member ‚Professor Lockdown‘ Neil Ferguson claiming they could even top 200,000.

But daily infections now appear to be falling or levelling off in every region of England. The North East, a hotspot for the Indian ‚Delta‘ variant, was the first to see its outbreak peak on July 14, according to the data.

27.07.2021 - 04:13 [ Glenn Greenwald ]

FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots

Questioning the FBI’s role in 1/6 was maligned by corporate media as deranged. But only ignorance about the FBI or a desire to deceive could produce such a reaction.

26.07.2021 - 11:07 [ Glenn Greenwald / Twitter ]

Is this a right-wing message or a left-wing message that I’m expressing here, or does it show the worthlessness of those labels when it comes to the dangers posed by the permanent, secret US security state?

21.07.2021 - 20:12 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

UK records 44,104 Covid cases in just a 4% week-on-week jump but deaths continue to rise with 73 more victims amid fears Freedom Day could be watered down in a FORTNIGHT unless hospital admissions start to slow

– SAGE has told PM he may need to roll back some curbs by end of first week of August if admissions don’t slow
– Would mark another extraordinary U-turn just three weeks after Freedom Day was given go-ahead on July 19

21.07.2021 - 20:02 [ National Health Service - NHS.uk ]

NHS COVID-19 Data Store

The NHS COVID-19 Data Store sits on a Microsoft Azure platform under contract with NHS England and NHS Improvement. Within that secure cloud processing environment, Palantir (acting under instruction from NHS England) manage their platform which is called Foundry.

Palantir, have built analytical dashboards for access by NHS England and Improvement staff, together with staff in the following organisations working under contract: Faculty AI, McKinsey and Deloittes.

21.07.2021 - 19:35 [ theCanary.co/uk/ ]

Coronavirus data contractors engaged in dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns

(10.05.2020)

Palantir was co-founded in 2004 by Paypal owner and billionaire Peter Thiel. What the blog doesn’t reveal is that Palantir’s client list has included amomgst others, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Centre for Disease Control, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point and the IRS.

Furthermore, in 2016, it was revealed Palantir had a $34.6m contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and helped the Customs and Border Protection Agency create the Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI) system to track immigrants.

Nor does the blog mention that Palantir worked for UK intelligence and was awarded contracts to handle vast data sets on UK citizens for British spy agency GCHQ.

21.07.2021 - 19:30 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Sir Patrick Vallance corrects mistake about Covid hospital admissions and says 60% of infected patients needing NHS treatment are unvaccinated after wrongly claiming majority have had both jabs

(yesterday)

– Sir Patrick Vallance corrected a mistake about Covid hospitalisation rates
– He originally said 60 per cent of people going to hospital were doubled jabbed
– But he later tweeted the figure applied to the unvaccinated people

17.07.2021 - 11:49 [ Express.co.uk ]

AZ jab: People may be three times more likely to get Covid symptoms than Pfizer’s – study

(16.07.2021)

THE ASTRAZENECA vaccine has given the UK a decisive edge in the vaccine race but with Freedom Day fast approaching, new SAGE figures may provide a cause for concern. According to the panel of experts advising Downing Street, those fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine have a three-fold risk of getting Covid symptoms if infected compared with those who got Pfizer and Moderna.

16.07.2021 - 21:47 [ Tehran Times ]

Washington intensifies intimidatory propaganda to cover up lack of options on JCPOA

A senior U.S. official told Reuters Thursday that the alternatives for the 2015 nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would be worse for Iran. “I think all the alternatives are worse for us. I think they are worse for Iran. And frankly, I think, at the end of the day, Iran will suffer – I don’t know if they suffer more than we will – but they will be in a bad situation,” the U.S. diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

16.07.2021 - 21:45 [ iranintl.com ]

No Chance For JCPOA, Says Commentator Close To Khamenei

As a radical shift in the Iranian media’s narrative regarding the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal is becoming evident daily, IRGC-linked news agency Fars carried an interview with hardline commentator Foad Izadi who dismissed President Hassan Rouhani’s recent remarks about his success in furthering the negotiations over the nuclear issue. He made the assertion that despite Rouhani’s claim there is no chance to revive the agreement.

16.07.2021 - 17:06 [ CNN ]

We have to do something dramatic to protect the US against Covid-19, expert says

Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have said that local vaccine mandates could be helpful in protecting the US from further surge. And such mandates could become easier for private companies as vaccines move further along.

(…)

With so many people hesitating or resisting the vaccine and vaccination rates dropping, restrictions to work and school may be key to motivating the public to reach the necessary threshold to slow or stop the spread., experts have said.

16.07.2021 - 06:21 [ Right2Know - r2k.org ]

R2K Statement: Stern action must be taken against the instigators!

We understand that former State Security agents and some senior ANC leaders are being investigated as possible instigators to the mayhem, as was admitted by State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. The Minister also told South Africans that the intelligence services knew that something would happen, but law enforcement responses to the unrest prove or paint a completely different reality.

We know that this country’s intelligence services are in shambles because both President Ramaphosa and the minister failed to implement the recommendations of the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency to clean up the spooks. We did mention that these rogue securocrats are a threat to our democracy and they must be dealt with accordingly.

16.07.2021 - 06:17 [ iol.co.za ]

Right2Know: Name and shame State Security agents involved in looting and violence

Johannesburg – Civil society organisation, Right2Know has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo to name and shame some of the State Security Agency’s (SSA) agents who fuelled the violent and destructive protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The campaign which initially erupted under the guise of Free Jacob Zuma campaign turned ugly when hundreds of protesters blocked national roads in KwaZulu-Natal and set alight trucks and vehicles belonging to private individuals.

16.07.2021 - 06:00 [ DailyMaverick.co.za ]

Confessions of a dangerous mind, a ‘divinely inspired’ Zuma spy Thulani Dlomo

Shortly after taking his oath of office, Zuma signed a proclamation that bypassed Parliament and collapsed five of South Africa’s agencies into the State Security Agency (SSA).

The door was thus kicked open for the creation of an unlawful, parallel, secret security state, funded by public money — much of which remains unaccounted for — and which served Zuma’s personal and political interests for more than a decade.

13.07.2021 - 13:21 [ CNN ]

Several tied to Haiti assassination plot were previously US law enforcement informants

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was killed last Wednesday in an operation that Haitian authorities say involved at least 28 people, many of them Colombian mercenaries hired through a Florida-based security company.

At least one of the men arrested in connection to the assassination by Haitian authorities previously worked as an informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA said in a statement in response to CNN.

10.07.2021 - 17:22 [ UK Medical Freedom / Twitter ]

25 under-18s in England died from the CV19 between 3/20 and 2/21, or 1 in 481,000. In the same period, 124 children died from suicide and 268 died from trauma due to pandemic response. Lockdown “may prove a greater risk than… SARS-CoV-2 itself”

(09.07.2021)

10.07.2021 - 16:59 [ Express.co.uk ]

If Covid hadn’t been politicised, lockdown would be over, says JUDY FINNIGAN

If the scientists are so unsure that double-jabbed bodies are protected from the worst effects of Covid, ie ICU and death, then what the hell was all the fuss about when they were invented late last year?

Covid is no longer a matter of public health. It’s been politicised. Reputations have been staked. Pompous men are using you and me as pawns. It’s like Brexit. We just want to get on with our lives but the scientists and politicians don’t seem to care about that.

10.07.2021 - 16:47 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Vaccine passport plan ‚will be fourth lockdown‘ for pubs

“You would be putting door control on every pub, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, nightclub and music venue in the country [to check certificates] and that’s simply not happening at the moment,“ she told Sky News.

“You would see high levels of business failure, high levels of business closure unless there was substantive Government support.”

10.07.2021 - 08:53 [ theGuardian.com ]

Boris Johnson may tone down ‘freedom’ rhetoric amid reopening jitters

The final decision about 19 July will be taken on Monday morning, based on modelling from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) about Covid cases and pressures on the NHS.

10.07.2021 - 08:04 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Covid passports ‚WILL be compulsory in pubs‘: Ministers ‚plan to force bars, clubs and restaurants to demand proof of two jabs or negative test from autumn‘ to help tackle fourth wave of the virus

The government had decided not to enforce Covid passports now because it would discriminate against younger people who have not been able to receive their second vaccination yet, The Times reported.

There are also fears it could damage the economy with people being turned away from the struggling hospitality industry.

But ministers believe that all over 18s will have been offered both doses by September and therefore vaccine passports can be enforced in venues where social distancing is not possible.

30.06.2021 - 18:35 [ Douglas E Schoen / theHill.com ]

New York’s mayoral primary puts ranked-choice voting under the national spotlight

(27.06.2021)

My firm, Schoen-Cooperman Research, has also worked on referenda aimed at passing ranked-choice voting in cities and states across the country.
ADVERTISEMENT

I support the method because, by design, it delivers a more representative outcome and gives voters more choice than a winner-take-all system. In addition, ranked-choice voting discourages negative campaigning and elects fewer extreme candidates.

30.06.2021 - 18:15 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Stop daily case updates as virus no longer ‚important cause of mortality‘, says JCVI scientist

He joins a growing number of MPs and leading scientists, including Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, warning the daily slew of Covid statistics are terrifying people and they lack any context, such as figures on flu, heart disease and cancer.

Conservative MPs are pressing Downing Street to follow officials in Quebec, Canada, and Singapore by moving to weekly updates or similar, ahead of the July 19 unlocking.

30.06.2021 - 17:59 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Gloomy SAGE adviser calls for Freedom Day to be delayed until all children are vaccinated – which could take THREE MORE months – despite hospital and death rates flatlining

The vaccine rollout is expected to drop to 150,000 first doses a day in the next few months because of shortages in the supply of Pfizer and Moderna’s jabs and because the AstraZeneca vaccine is not being given to young people.

14.06.2021 - 15:19 [ Actual Interview / Youtube ]

#live Downing Street Protest | Freedom Day Debate

(video)

14.06.2021 - 15:15 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

In Orwellian Britain, lockdown is perpetual and sickness is health

Embracing the statist doctrine of a permanent war on Covid will end badly for the Conservatives

14.06.2021 - 15:11 [ hellofaread.com ]

Boris Johnson blasted for ‘completely unjustifiable’ June 21 Freedom Day delay by furious MPs

FURIOUS Tory MPs today mauled Boris Johnson as he prepared to announce a “completely unjustifiable” delay to Freedom Day.

The PM is facing an angry Conservative revolt over plans to slam the brakes on his roadmap, which he is expected to confirm at a somber press conference tonight.

14.06.2021 - 15:05 [ Mirror.co.uk ]

The delay to freedom is entirely Boris Johnson’s fault. Don’t let him tell you otherwise

The only reason you can’t do whatever you want is because the PM prefers to do whatever he wants, says Fleet Street Fox

14.06.2021 - 15:02 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

How many times will it be ‚one last heave‘ until we’re free?

When the first lockdown was called, in March 2020, it was supposed to be a case of maintaining social distancing for three weeks so that we could prevent A&E units from being overwhelmed. Then it became a case of suppressing the virus until we had a vaccine. Then we had a vaccine and we were asked to lock down until it had been rolled out among vulnerable groups. That was achieved, on schedule, in the middle of February, but no, we had to stay locked down until the over-50s – who had accounted for 99 per cent of deaths – had been offered at least one jab. That target was reached in early April. But now we are being asked to wait until the entire adult population has had at least one jab….

14.06.2021 - 14:58 [ Sky News / Youtube ]

‚Freedom Day‘ is set to be delayed by the Prime Minister

Boris Johnson will plead with the nation to make „one last heave“ to freedom as he announces a delay of four weeks in lifting lockdown restrictions in England.

10.06.2021 - 09:58 [ Richard Silverstein ]

IDF Lies About Espionage Charges Against Tomer Eiges, Cyber-intelligence Officer Who Died in Military Prison

(05.06.2021)

We do not know for certain how Eiges, who a separate source told me committed suicide (though this fact is disputed by his family), managed to die. Though an autopsy was performed by a pathologist hired by the family, according to a family friend he was not able to determine a cause of death.

The IDF refuses to release any medical account of its own. It has performed its own secret investigation of the circumstances of Eiges death and refuses to release any accounting.

10.06.2021 - 09:41 [ Haaretz ]

Intel Officer Who Died in Jail Was About to Compromise ‚Big Secret,‘ Says Israeli Army Chief

According to Kochavi, the secrecy, with which the affair was handled, was important „in order to safeguard his privacy and the privacy of his family … while guarding a big secret.“

Kochavi added that the IDF managed to stop „him at the last minute,“ before he caused harm.

10.06.2021 - 09:23 [ Haaretz ]

Everything That Can Be Said About the Mysterious Death of an Israeli Intel Officer

Those who knew the officer say he was regarded as a prodigy in the field of computers, which he studied in high school. At age 16, he participated in a program to encourage high-tech entrepreneurship for young people and completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He joined the Israel Defense Forces in March 2016 and served in an intelligence branch tech unit.

His friends told Haaretz he was an idealistic and brilliant individual who succeeded in all the assignments he was given. “He was a man of values and ideals, and they guided him in his work and in his philosophy of life,” said one.

09.06.2021 - 10:35 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Anthony Fauci and the Wuhan Lab

(03.06.2021)

Of particular interest: From 2014-19, the National Institutes of Health sent $3.4 million to the WIV through the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. “I just wanted to say a personal thankyou on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin,” EcoHealth Alliance chief Peter Daszak gushed to Dr. Fauci in a partly redacted April 2020 email.

09.06.2021 - 10:34 [ Washington Post ]

Fact-checking the Paul-Fauci flap over Wuhan lab funding

(May 18, 2021)

Juicing up super viruses is not new. Scientists in the U.S. have long known how to mutate animal viruses to infect humans. For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. … Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”

— Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), remarks at a Senate hearing, May 11

“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not never and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

— Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in response.

08.06.2021 - 15:19 [ PeoplesParty.org ]

The CIA Has Been Taking Over for Decades—Even Former Presidents Tried to Warn Us

December 22, 1963 — exactly one month after President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, former President Harry S. Truman published an op-ed in the Washington Post that most people, especially our perfumed ruling elite, wanted to ignore.

Truman, who signed the CIA into existence just after World War II, wrote, “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—the CIA. […] For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. …There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

Not only did that adorn the pages of the Washington Post one month after JFK’s death, Truman hand wrote the first draft just one week after JFK met up with a bunch of bullets in Dallas. Sure, one may wish Harry had sent his thoughts to John a month before the President’s televised execution. Maybe he could’ve sent a singing telegram or something. But let’s at least give Truman partial credit for the belated message.

Before his death President Kennedy also held no love for the Central Intelligence Agency. Following the calamitous Bay of Pigs invasion, Kennedy said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.”

Point being, clearly Truman, who created the CIA, and Kennedy, who met a mysterious untimely end by professional killers, knew the agency had run amok.

Yet the CIA is still here, bigger and filled with more Bond villains than ever, and now they have a whole cavalcade of other intelligence agencies working with them.

31.05.2021 - 19:08 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚We can’t rule anything out‘: Minister hints No10 is prepared to cave in to SAGE pressure and push back June 21 Freedom Day after scientists warned UK is ‚on a knife-edge‘ due to Indian variant outbreak

– Sources in No10 say there is now a ’50-50′ chance of June 21 being delayed in a notable shift in tone
– Professor Ravi Gupta urged ministers to push back June 21 deadline to allow more people to get vaccinated
– Cambridge University microbiologist said there were early signs the third wave of the pandemic had begun
– Professor Susan Michie echoed his comments saying Britain could see its cases rise quickly in coming weeks

31.05.2021 - 18:54 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Save us from a techno-fascist Covid dictator

Among his big ideas was to use mobile phone masts and bank data to track our movements, jinxed, he grumbled, by the human rights and data protection laws – but while proposing the greatest, most horrific invasion of our civil liberties, he also admitted that it was “crackers” that he and Boris Johnson were in such positions of power. What we needed, he said, was a “Covid dictator”. Who? Dom nominated a chap called Marc Warner, who apparently runs a data company. Dom would have given Mr Warner “as close to kingly authority as the state has legally to do stuff, and pushing the barriers of legality”. This is quite mad, and monstrous.

30.05.2021 - 12:47 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

We can’t let them cancel Freedom Day because of another ’scariant‘

(18.05.2021)

How blissfully everyone slipped back into near-normality on Monday, and with such a huge sigh of relief. Lunch with friends in a restaurant, holding your mother’s hand without fear, tickets for a show. Small pleasures, but how sweet they taste. Just as our long hibernation felt almost at an end and we began to believe we could slough off that lockdown lassitude and banish the gnawing worm of anxiety, here comes the… Indian variant. Bwa-hah-hah-hah!

The pattern should be familiar by now

02.05.2021 - 19:56 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Our epidemic is over, so why are we slower to unlock than countries with higher infection rates?

The BBC has worked out that 44 per cent of local authority areas in England, and more than half in Scotland, did not record a single Covid fatality in April. Hardly surprising given the low incidence of the virus. According to the ONS, around one person in a thousand was infected in the week up to 24 April – down from one in 50 in January.

Why, then, are we being so slow to open up?

21.04.2021 - 07:22 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Can we stop this lockdown inhumanity and get our lives back?

There were 250 in Westminster Abbey for Easter Day Eucharist. I know that Covid is a fiendishly clever critter, but can it really distinguish between normal congregants and mourners at a funeral? Why the harsher limit on the latter? Do those purse-lipped puritans on SAGE fear that grief might drive people to have a Covid-reckless sherry afterwards and start hugging the people they love? To borrow a favourite Prince Philip word, it’s bunkum.

21.04.2021 - 07:15 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Just 32 Britons have been hospitalised with coronavirus after being vaccinated, ‚extraordinary‘ findings show

— Comes as figures showed there are now just 1,973 patients with Covid-19 in UK
– Boris Johnson said he would not deviate from ‚cautious but irreversible‘ roadmap

06.04.2021 - 10:56 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Covid third wave ‚will NOT‘ overwhelm NHS: Government scientists‘ most likely scenario after the economy re-opens in June projects deaths will stay in double figures even with ALL restrictions lifted – as Boris faces backlash over ‚hellish demi-lockdown‘

Modelling by Imperial College London academics — involving ‚Professor Lockdown‘ Neil Ferguson — shows that coronavirus patients will take up around 5,000 beds during any future spike, far lower than the 30,000 occupied in January.

And thanks to the effects of vaccines far fewer of those patients will die, with daily deaths remaining below 100 even with cases above 50,000, according to the scenario that the scientists regard as most likely.

30.03.2021 - 16:40 [ smithsonianmag.com ]

Why U.S. Approval of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Is Taking So Long

By the morning of March 23, officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released a letter from its data and safety monitoring board that’s been examining the AstraZeneca trial, Andrew Joseph reports for STAT News. The letter stated that AstraZeneca had used outdated data to reach its efficacy number. The move was unprecedented; usually, monitoring boards keep their correspondence with companies private.

“We just felt we could not remain silent. Because if we did remain silent, we could be understandably accused of covering something up. And we definitely didn’t want to be in that position,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, to STAT News. “In my mind, it’s an unforced error by the company.”

28.03.2021 - 23:21 [ The Guardian ]

Give pause before you raise a glass to the prospect of a vaccine passport

… The bad news is that Johnson’s “papers for pints” plan is essentially a national ID card by stealth, one that would link our identity to our Covid status – whether we’ve been vaccinated, had a recent negative test or have antibodies.

The UK has already toyed with national ID cards. It rejected them in 2010. As Theresa May, then home secretary, explained in 2010: “This isn’t just about cost savings, it’s actually about the principle, it’s about getting the balance right between national security and civil liberties, and that’s what the new coalition government is doing.”

27.03.2021 - 14:00 [ Express.co.uk ]

What’s the point of a BRILLIANT vaccine if we remain prisoners in our homes? JUDY FINNIGAN

I’m getting very tired of various scientific oddbods turning up on the news and telling us our future. This is invariably gloomy, speculating about how new variants will not allow us to have holidays abroad this summer.

The latest – unbelievably – is Professor Neil Ferguson, who was so publicly caught flouting his own lockdown advice last year by inviting his mistress over for a spot of nooky.

Shamed for a bit, he’s now back on his high horse, saying summer holidays are not for the rest of us.

27.03.2021 - 13:52 [ Yahoo.com ]

Boris Johnson sends envoy to Serum Institute for vaccine deal with India

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has sent an envoy to India to secure millions of doses of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine.

Lord Eddie Lister, the PM’s Conservative peer, and international adviser David Quarrey, met with India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla in New Delhi on Monday.

21.03.2021 - 18:31 [ BBC ]

Covid-19: Record-breaking day with 873,784 vaccine doses given in UK

Meanwhile, a leading epidemiologist has predicted that people may need to wear face coverings and socially distance for several years before a return to normality.

Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisation at Public Health England, said basic measures could be in place until other countries successfully roll-out jabs.

She said people „have got used to those lower-level restrictions now, and people can live with them, and the economy can still go on with those less severe restrictions in place“.

16.03.2021 - 12:10 [ BBC ]

What is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and how will it change protests?

It will also become a crime to fail to follow restrictions the protesters „ought“ to have known about, even if they have not received a direct order from an officer.

At present, police need to prove protesters knew they had been told to move on, before they can be said to have broken the law.

The proposed law includes an offence of „intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance“.

16.03.2021 - 12:08 [ theGuardian.com ]

Civil liberties groups call police plans for demos an ‚assault‘ on right to protest

Among other things, the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill will give Priti Patel powers to create laws to define “serious disruption” to communities and organisations, which police can then rely on to impose conditions on protests.

The HMICFRS report, ordered by Patel following Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, outlines a “need to develop” covert intelligence gathering methods and an expectation of increased use of facial recognition technology, despite a court of appeal ruling last year that its use in south Wales breached privacy rights and broke equalities law.

16.03.2021 - 11:44 [ Boris Johnson - Gov.uk ]

PM Boris Johnson: The Oxford vaccine shows why we and the world need Britain to be global

The objective of Global Britain is not to swagger or strike attitudes on the world stage. It is to use the full spectrum of our abilities, now amplified by record spending on both defence and science, to engage with and help the rest of the world. That is how we serve the British interest, and I mean the economic interest of people up and down the country. And as the vaccine programme begins to inspire a new global hope, we want to use this moment to heal, both literally and figuratively.

11.03.2021 - 09:22 [ Haaretz ]

How Much Did Pfizer Pay Israeli Doctors, and for What?

No one would accept a situation in which journalists reporting on the coronavirus also work for Pfizer, for money, at the same time, without informing readers. And these are just reporters. What physicians decide and do directly impacts public health, sometimes on matters of life and death. This certainly applies to people advising the government on policies. The public has the right to know exactly how much parties with vested interests are paying the physicians.

07.03.2021 - 13:02 [ CormanDrostenReview.com ]

Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020

(27.11.2020)

It should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected .

PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable.

07.03.2021 - 12:57 [ Weltgesundheitsorganisation - WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

07.03.2021 - 11:28 [ Newsletter.co.uk ]

Dr Anne McCloskey: It is an alarmist distortion of the facts to say 100,000 people in the UK have died of Covid

(05.03.2021)

A new directive from the WHO to every doctor changed fundamentally how deaths were attributed. Any death, within 28 days of a positive PCR test (which Kary Mullis, the test’s inventor, and Nobel Laureate was clear should not be used as a diagnostic tool) was to be included in the Covid fatality total, regardless of the context.

Where there was no positive test, but clinical symptoms compatible with Covid 19 that is fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste and so on, likewise, attribution to the virus on the death certificate was encouraged. Autopsies ceased.

07.03.2021 - 10:31 [ Haaretz ]

Israel’s COVID Infection Rates Are Rising – but It May Not Matter That Much Now

(02.03.2021)

Health experts say most at-risk Israelis are now vaccinated, and they expect the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients to drop

02.03.2021 - 20:16 [ marketwatch.com ]

Only 50 people are known to have contracted COVID-19 more than once — but new strains have medical experts on high alert

There are about 60 confirmed cases of reinfection globally.

28.02.2021 - 08:22 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

What IS the truth about Covid deaths? Grieving relatives along with MPs and top medics demand inquiry as families reveal MORE loved ones they believe were wrongly certified as virus victims

Grieving families last night said deaths had been wrongly certified as Covid-19.

Demanding an inquiry, top medical experts and MPs also insisted they were ‘certain’ that too many fatalities were being blamed on the virus.

One funeral director said it was ‘a national scandal’. The claims are part of a Daily Mail investigation that raises serious questions over the spiralling death toll.

24.02.2021 - 11:35 [ Yahoo.com ]

SolarWinds, Microsoft, FireEye, CrowdStrike defend actions in major hack – U.S. Senate hearing

Lawmakers started the hearing by criticizing Amazon representatives, who they said were invited to testify and whose servers were used to launch the cyberattack, for declining to attend the hearing.

23.02.2021 - 10:10 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

We surrendered our freedom to lockdown – the state must never hold such control over our lives again

We know that the trajectory of the virus has been indistinguishable between North Dakota (with masks and distancing in restaurants) and South Dakota (without restrictions). We know that California, which locked down and closed schools, seems to have fared worse than Florida, which did not. We can see that the picture in Belgium with its hard lockdowns has now converged with that in Sweden which famously took a voluntary approach. Similarly, the ‘second wave’ trajectory in Japan is remarkably similar to that of the UK.

I know, I know, fascinating stuff…. but let’s leave all that for the public inquiry.

23.02.2021 - 10:03 [ theSun.co.uk ]

DEADLY DATA: Plan to lift lockdown by Easter ‘was canned after Sage scientists warned it would cause 91,000 more deaths

Models predicted it would lead to nearly 60,000 Covid patients in hospital by June, compared to last month’s high of 39,000.

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance spoke of his support for the gradual approach taken by PM Boris Johnson, saying: „The sooner you open up everything, the higher the risk of a bigger resurgence.

„The slower you do it, the better.“

23.02.2021 - 06:05 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Covid cases are UP for first time in SIX WEEKS with 10,641 new infections while deaths tumble to 178 in lowest toll since December 13 – and Britain dishes out just 150,000 vaccines in worst performance since inoculation drive started

– Department of Health figures show infections are 9 per cent up on last Monday, when 9,765 were declared
– But laboratory-confirmed coronavirus fatalities have dropped by almost a quarter, from 230 last Monday
– Britain dished out 150,000 vaccines yesterday, in worst daily toll since roll-out began to speed up last month

23.02.2021 - 06:03 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris, Whitty and Vallance dismiss Tory and business fury at ultra-cautious lockdown ‚roadmap‘ saying the country wants ‚certainty not urgency‘ – with shops, salons and drinks outside from April 12 but no foreign travel before mid-MAY or hugs until June

Social distancing rules will stay in force until June 21 at the minimum, with a government review to decide their future after that. The decision means that grandparents face months of waiting before they can hug their grandchildren – even though millions have already been vaccinated.

22.02.2021 - 15:37 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Tories demand ‚irreversible‘ lockdown easing and slam Boris for moving too slowly as he prepares to unveil ‚roadmap‘ with ALL schools to return on March 8 and Rule of Six back by April – but shops, salons and pubs face waiting MONTHS

The PM is set to reveal his ‚roadmap‘ in a statement to the Commons this afternoon once it is rubber-stamped by Cabinet, after scientists seemingly won the battle for a slow approach regardless of the surging vaccination drive.

18.02.2021 - 15:29 [ SeekingAlpha.com ]

SolarWinds breach launched from within the United States

Neuberger notably said the attack, which compromised „9 federal agencies and about 100 private companies,“ was launched from inside the United States.
SolarWinds shares are down 1.4%. Two security names closely tied to the hack, FireEye (FEYE -3.2%) and CrowdStrike (CRWD -2.5%), are also in the red.

18.02.2021 - 15:28 [ CNN ]

Biden administration says investigation into SolarWinds hack is likely to take „several months“

The US government’s probe into the devastating SolarWinds breach is likely to take „several months“ at least, according to the top White House cybersecurity official, speaking to reporters Wednesday in the Biden administration’s first public assessment of the gravity of the suspected Russian spying campaign.

17.02.2021 - 09:44 [ Newsweek ]

Two-Thirds of Middle East Experts Want Biden to Return to Iran Deal Without Conditions: Poll

The Middle East Scholar Barometer found that 67 percent of respondents said the foreign policy strategy that was most likely to produce „favorable results“ for the U.S. would be Biden returning „immediately“ to the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) before negotiating any other conditions with Iran. Also in the survey, released Tuesday, 75 percent of experts said the U.S. returning to the deal would reduce the likelihood of Iran getting a nuclear weapon within the next decade.

15.02.2021 - 20:52 [ theGuardian.com ]

UK Covid: ‚we want this lockdown to be the last,‘ says Boris Johnson, as he calls for ‚optimism and patience‘ – as it happened

The level of coronavirus infections is still high and the number of hospitalisations higher than they were during the first peak, Chris Whitty said.

15.02.2021 - 06:09 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Ministers must never again be free to impose crippling restrictions without proper scrutiny

Drawing on the Civil Contingencies Act, measures would also need Parliamentary approval before coming into effect (unless too urgent – in which case validity would be provisional) and they would expire after no more than 30 days unless renewed, so that in the event of another pandemic, restrictions could not be imposed for months on end without proper scrutiny.

15.02.2021 - 05:53 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Single jabs of Covid vaccine are providing 67% protection against infections, data reveals as experts say delaying second dose is ‚paying off‘

Prof Spector said that he no longer watched the Government’s daily briefings as he felt the statistics were not presented in context, particularly the death rates.

He said: ‚It’s very sad people die of anything. Yesterday around 600 people died of Covid but on a normal day in February 1,500 people die of heart disease, strokes, cancer etc or the flu.

‚This has got a lot of people extremely anxious and are petrified to leave their homes and may have problems coming out if we do not put those statistics into context.

‚People are dying of Covid but people die of other things. I would like to see less fear-mongering.‘

13.02.2021 - 19:21 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris says he’s ‚optimistic‘ about easing lockdown starting with schools in March and we will ‚learn to live with‘ Covid – as leaked data shows hospitalisations falling much FASTER than expected

Modelling by Sage presented to Downing Street and leaked to The Times predicts hospital admissions and deaths will more than halve over the next month.

Patients battling coronavirus in hospital currently number around 24,000, but this figure is expected to be slashed to around 9,000 by mid-March.

Yesterday 1,908 patients were taken to hospital in the UK, a massive drop in admission rates since the peak in January when around 4,500 were admitted on a single day.

13.02.2021 - 19:18 [ ABC News ]

COVID-19 could become a seasonal illness like the flu, experts say

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, concurred, adding that he is also „not sure we’re ever going to really eliminate this virus. … It’s not like measles, where you get life-long sterilizing immunity.“

But even if the virus sticks around, new vaccines and new drugs to fight the virus mean it’s unlikely to cause severe illness in the future. Offit predicts „that eventually, it will cause fewer deaths than influenza.“

12.02.2021 - 02:24 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

School return date must be ’signed in blood‘, Boris Johnson told

Rob Halfon, the Tory chairman of the Education Select Committee, told The Telegraph: „We just need to make sure March 8 is signed in blood, not just a line in the sand.“ Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: „It’s crucial we don’t backslide on this.“

12.02.2021 - 02:14 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Furious Tory MPs say Covid vaccine roll-out is pointless unless UK goes back to normal life soon after SAGE doomsters push back on easing lockdown within weeks and warn we could be wearing masks FOREVER

The Prime Minister has promised to get children back in classrooms by March 8 as part of his ‚route map‘ out of lockdown, which he plans to reveal on Monday, February 22.

12.02.2021 - 02:11 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Powerful ‚Covid O‘ Cabinet committee is set to consider plans for ‚vaccine passports‘ tomorrow amid hopes they could save summer holidays

The critical ‚Covid O‘ Cabinet sub-committee is expected to look at proposals for assembling a system that could loosen restrictions on international travel.

However, there are not expected to be any final decisions – and no date has been mooted for when the arrangements might come into force.

08.02.2021 - 16:20 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Alarming new evidence on coronavirus mutation could bring tougher restrictions

(18.12.2020)

Government scientists at the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire have been conducting experiments on the new strain, and have confirmed ministers‘ fears about it being far more infectious than the original strain of the virus.

07.02.2021 - 16:01 [ Dr. Simon, PhD in Biotech / Twitter ]

The statements that German virologist @BrinkmannLab makes are an utter disgrace. She said that a delay in measured in November 2020 cost 30,000 lives in Germany and that the same will happen again with the new „mutants“. Isn’t there any lawyer out there to legally stop her?

07.02.2021 - 15:44 [ Groo The Wonderer / Twitter ]

The left has become very authoritarian; the idea that the govt shouldn’t shut down businesses or tell people when they can leave their homes is now “ libertarian”

07.02.2021 - 15:30 [ theSun.co.uk ]

LOCKED IN: Restrictions can’t ease until NEXT YEAR due to aggressive mutant Covid strains, warns Sage

They came to their conclusions by modelling what could happen in the next few months under the vaccine rollout, presenting their findings to Sage on January 14.

Researchers at Warwick University wrote in the document, published today: “With the new aggressive covid strain, likely transmission efficacies prove insufficient to prevent further infection outbreaks across the population.

07.02.2021 - 14:54 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Restrictions on large gatherings likely to be in place ‚for next few years‘

Prof Spector also suggested that basic infection control measures – including physical distancing, face masks and handwashing – should remain in place as they „don’t cost really anything to do“.

„I think we need to get used to that and that will allow us to do the things we really want to do more easily and more readily,“ he said.

05.02.2021 - 21:32 [ Clarity / Twitter ]

The flu abruptly disappeared in March of 2020. It disappeared at about the exact same time covid-19 testing and detection ramped up. See the timing overlay below

04.02.2021 - 21:49 [ Daily Mail U.K. / Twitter ]

70 Tory MPs demand a route out of lockdown amid fears Boris is being ‚beaten up by the scientists‘

04.02.2021 - 21:48 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson hit by Tory revolt on reopening schools sparked by Scottish return and falling Covid cases

(03.02.2021)

The new rebellion mushroomed after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set the pace by announcing a phased return of Scottish schools from February 22.

Tory MPs also pointed to falling case rates and evidence to Parliament from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries that schools are not considered one of the major vectors of infection transmission.

02.02.2021 - 09:32 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Boris Johnson pushes to reopen schools as Covid cases fall

(today)

Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to ramp up preparations for reopening schools after being told the UK is now past the peak of the current wave of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that the Government’s immediate focus must be on education and is expected to announce further measures to help children catch up after almost a year of disruption.

02.02.2021 - 09:28 [ talkRADIO / Twitter ]

„We’ve got the four horsemen of the education apocalypse riding towards our pupils.“ Robert Halfon, Education Select Committee chairman, says the impact of children not being at school is huge.

(01.02.2021)

02.02.2021 - 09:24 [ Steve Baker, Member of UK Parliament / Twitter ]

700 million days of schooling were lost in 2020. And every day schools stay shut, the attainment gap widens. We must act now. Govt must #REOPENSCHOOLS or set out the harms and benefits justifying the decision to keep them closed. Join @UsforThemUK

(26.01.2021)

https://usforthem.co.uk/

02.02.2021 - 08:56 [ Killian Foley-Walsh, Esq. / Twitter ]

Sabine Weyand was Michel Barnier’s number 2 in the Brexit negotiations. If she is responsible for triggering Art. 16, it’s not credible to suggest she didn’t understand its implications.

01.02.2021 - 21:24 [ COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium ]

COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, represents a major threat to health. The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium has been created to deliver large-scale and rapid whole-genome virus sequencing to local NHS centres and the UK government.

COG-UK is made up of an innovative partnership of NHS organisations, the four Public Health Agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and over twelve academic partners providing sequencing and analysis capacity.

01.02.2021 - 21:17 [ Regierung des Vereinigten Königreichs - Gov.uk ]

Genome UK: the future of healthcare

(26 September 2020)

Genome UK sets out how the genomics community will work together to harness the latest advances in genetic and genomic science, research, and technology for the benefit of patients.

Our vision is to create the most advanced genomic healthcare ecosystem in the world, where government, the NHS, research and technology communities work together to embed the latest advances in patient care.

Our goal is that patients in the UK will benefit from world-first advances in genomic healthcare through globally leading collaborations between the government, NHS and researchers, building on already successful programmes such as the 100,000 Genomes Project, delivered by NHS England and Genomics England, and UK Biobank.

31.01.2021 - 21:07 [ Spiked ]

Lockdown has ravaged the working class

From the moment this disastrous policy was instigated, it became immediately apparent that we were not all in it together. In every single aspect of life, the working class has suffered most during lockdown. Worse still, over the course of the past year, class inequalities have grown wider and have become more entrenched. And yet, at each turn, left-wing lockdown lovers have demanded ever-more severe restrictions on people’s lives.

31.01.2021 - 20:06 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(May 30, 2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

31.01.2021 - 20:04 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Social distancing may remain in place ALL YEAR: Graphs show how UK could see huge spike in deaths if restrictions are lifted too early as vaccine would have to be 85% effective to stop a surge in fatalities

Grim new graphs lay bare the dilemma facing Boris Johnson’s government as officials try to work out how to reopen the country without causing a third wave of coronavirus infections, as SAGE recommends keeping social distancing measures in place until 2022.

30.01.2021 - 11:44 [ Independent.ie ]

Covid-19 vaccine chaos as EU is forced into U-turn after blocking supplies to the North

A government source said the Taoiseach had not been given any advance warning of the EU decision to invoke the article in the protocol.

The source said the article may have been inadvertently triggered by “someone who did not understand the political implications” of the decision.

Some EU officials are understood to be livid about the move, which they see as ruining the work they’ve done since the Brexit vote in 2016.

28.01.2021 - 18:41 [ Desmond Swayne, Member of Parliament ]

Demoralising the NHS?

(17.01.2021)

I have been criticised by a family doctor on the grounds that a question I put to the PM in Parliament was ‘demoralising for NHS staff’.
I am at a loss as to how this could be the case.
The question to the PM was this:
“Pubs cannot compete with supermarkets for off-sales. Even within a household, people cannot play tennis or golf. Notwithstanding the assault on liberty and livelihoods, why are the regulations pervaded by a pettifogging malice?”

28.01.2021 - 17:09 [ Sky.com ]

COVID-19: Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne urged anti-vaxxers to ‚persist‘ against COVID restrictions

A senior Conservative MP urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against government restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being „manipulated“ to exaggerate the scale of coronavirus, Sky News can reveal.

28.01.2021 - 16:21 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Vaccines WILL limit the spread of coronavirus – but we won’t know by how much until mid-February, experts say

Another burning question which will determine how gung-ho ministers can be with easing restriction is to what extent the vaccines stop people from spreading Covid.

The Government has commissioned a study to investigate the vaccines and their role on transmission, which is being overseen by Public Health England. It is focused on frontline healthcare workers who’ve been jabbed.

28.01.2021 - 16:19 [ Sky News ]

COVID-19: PM criticised for being too secretive about scientific advice that led to tiers and lockdowns in England

(08.01.2021)

The MPs also express concern about the government presenting statistics in a misleading way, and urge ministers to take care to maintain public confidence in them.

„There is nothing to fear from openness,“ said Tory MP Greg Clark, who chairs the committee.

23.01.2021 - 19:49 [ CNN ]

Unlocking the World: What ‚vaccine passports‘ mean for your summer vacation

This week, Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, called for the global adoption of vaccination passports as part of wider measures he said were essential to get the world in motion once again.
„The rollout of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait,“ he told a meeting of the UNWTO’s Global Tourism Crisis Committee in Madrid. „Vaccines must be part of a wider, coordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel.“

23.01.2021 - 19:33 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

London is burning in lockdown – and if it falls, so will the rest of the UK

London is burning. There are no flames but, make no mistake, it is burning. Instead of fighting the fire, the government and its ineffectual mayor are pouring fuel on it.

23.01.2021 - 09:05 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Revealed: SAGE warning that says scientists are only 50% sure Kent strain is more deadly in evidence that was handed to ministers just hours before ’scaremongering‘ press conference

A SAGE warning revealing that scientists are only 50% sure the Kent strain of coronavirus could be more deadly was handed to ministers just hours before last night’s ’scare-mongering‘ press conference, it has been revealed.

Ministers were only informed about the development yesterday morning after scientists on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), a subcommittee of Sage, discussed the issue on Thursday.

22.01.2021 - 20:42 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(May 30, 2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

22.01.2021 - 20:30 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance make shock claim the Kent mutant coronavirus MIGHT be 30-40% more deadly but provide no evidence at all – as Covid cases fall AGAIN by 30% to 40,261 and R number drops below 1

Boris Johnson and his top scientific advisers tonight sensationally claimed the Kent coronavirus variant could be up to 40 per cent deadlier – but sparked fury by not providing the public any evidence for their doom-mongering.

Critics argued No10’s bold claim – based on findings by three academic groups – were reminiscent of ‚Project Fear‘, accusing ministers of managing to find a ’new twist‘ in Britain’s crisis whenever hopes are raised that lockdown could be eased.

22.01.2021 - 18:52 [ Weltgesundheitsorganisation - WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

22.01.2021 - 18:38 [ New York Times ]

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

(29.08.2020)

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

21.01.2021 - 09:35 [ theHill.com ]

Senate confirms Biden’s intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official

Senators voted 84-10 to confirm Haines, who appears to be the only Cabinet official Biden will get confirmed on the first day of his administration.

19.01.2021 - 21:50 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Pressure grows on Boris Johnson to agree plan to start easing lockdown restrictions by March 8

„We locked down the country and shut down our schools on the basis of a forecast, so why can’t we open it up on the basis of one too? It is not sustainable to leave the public and British businesses languishing any longer,“ Mr Baker told The Telegraph.

19.01.2021 - 18:47 [ Prem Sikka / Twitter ]

To rebuild the economy, UK govt has set-up a Build Back Better Council. It is full of grandees from companies not paying the minimum wage, dodging taxes, engaged in illicit financial flows and anti-worker practices. No union reps. What could go wrong?

19.01.2021 - 17:52 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

388 people aged under 60 with ‚NO underlying health conditions‘ have died of Covid in England’s hospitals

(27.12.2020)

Just 388 people aged under 60 with no underlying health conditions have died of Covid-19 in England’s hospitals since the start of the pandemic, NHS data has showed.

The figures show that 1,979 previously healthy people died in hospitals in England after testing positive for Covid-19 between April 2 and December 23.

19.01.2021 - 17:36 [ DerbyShireTimes.co.uk ]

Derbyshire health chiefs warn that vaccines alone will not mean an end to restrictions

“We don’t know yet whether an individual can, although not becoming ill from the virus because they have been vaccinated, still catch it and spread it on to others.

19.01.2021 - 17:24 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Vaccinated Brits told not to hug kids amid fears millions will ignore Covid rules once they have jab

Asked whether people who had received the jab could hug their children, Janet Lord, director of Birmingham University’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, said: “I would certainly advise not to do that at the moment because as you probably know with the vaccines they take several weeks before they are maximally effective.“

19.01.2021 - 17:20 [ bestlifeonline.com ]

The COVID Vaccine May Not Protect You From This One Thing, Experts Warn

(05.12.2020)

In order to halt the spread of coronavirus completely, a vaccine would need to produce antibodies that stop the virus from replicating. „To prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission, you need what’s called sterilizing immunity,“ Greg Poland, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explained to USA Today. While it’s possible that one or more of the vaccines could produce sterilizing immunity, it currently remains unproven.

17.01.2021 - 17:51 [ theGrayzone.com ]

Five questions for new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer about his UK and US national security establishment links

(June 5, 2020)

The public deserves answers about the UK’s new opposition leader and his relationship with the British national security establishment, including the MI5 and the Times newspaper, his former role in the Julian Assange case and his membership in the intelligence-linked Trilateral Commission.

17.01.2021 - 17:35 [ John Crace / theGuardian.com ]

In these grim times we all need a saviour and right now it is Chris Whitty

(11.01.2021)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In these exceptionally grim times we’re all – Boris Johnson included – looking for a saviour to rise from these streets. And right now that salvation appears to be the England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty. Just about the only person left whom anyone can trust to tell the country the naked truth about coronavirus.

17.01.2021 - 17:25 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

17.01.2021 - 17:15 [ Neil O'Brien / theGuardian.com ]

I’d love to ignore ‘Covid sceptics’ and their tall tales. But they make a splash and have no shame

They rubbished those who knew what they were talking about. Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance were “Messrs Doom and Gloom”, “fear-mongering” and “self-serving”. That Whitty and Jonathan Van-Tam used their tiny amount of spare time to volunteer in hospitals suggests that’s not true. Now, as the death toll still rises, the same people crawl from the woodwork to demand we lift all restrictions as soon as the most vulnerable are vaccinated.

17.01.2021 - 17:03 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

14.01.2021 - 09:06 [ Spiked ]

The government is terrorising the public

The politics of fear is being used to justify another authoritarian lockdown.

14.01.2021 - 08:56 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

14.01.2021 - 08:54 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warns UK is in for ‚a pretty grim period‘ for Covid deaths which won’t reduce ‚for some weeks‘ even if lockdown measures bring infections down – as Britain sees daily record of 1,564 fatalities

Department of Health figures show the daily laboratory-confirmed death toll has risen 50 per cent week-on-week, with data suggesting the total number of coronavirus victims — both suspected and confirmed — has now passed the 100,000 mark.

13.01.2021 - 18:30 [ Nature.com ]

UK science advisers: publish evidence behind COVID vaccine changes

Pfizer–BioNTech say they do not have evidence of what happens to immunity beyond 21 days after the first dose.

(…)

The JCVI adds that: “Protective immunity from the first dose likely lasts for a duration of 12 weeks.” But it has not published evidence to support this.

13.01.2021 - 18:12 [ voanews.com ]

US Changes Vaccine Strategy, WHO Says Herd Immunity Will Not Be Achieved in 2021

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is warning that mass vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will not produce herd immunity this year.

WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan told reporters Monday that it takes time to produce and administer enough doses of a vaccine to finally stop the spread of COVID-19. Swaminathan stressed the need for countries to continue observing mitigation efforts such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.

12.01.2021 - 14:15 [ theHill.com ]

AstraZeneca vaccine likely won’t be authorized in US until April

(30.12.2020)

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is not likely to be authorized for use in the U.S. until April, a top Trump administration health official said Wednesday.

“We project, if everything goes well, that the readout and emergency use authorization may be granted somewhere early in the month of April,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief science adviser for the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, told reporters.

12.01.2021 - 11:43 [ World Association for Christian Communication ]

COVID-19 pandemic and biopolitics in Latin America

(17. AUgust 2020)

At the time of this writing [June 3, 2020], Latin America has become the new epicenter of the pandemic with growing number of reported cases of infections and deaths. Various governments in Latin America (Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil) and the Inter-American Development Bank have deployed digital technologies to control the transmission of the virus and to support testing and tracing. They have collaborated with private companies and universities in setting up mobile applications for geolocalizing and contact-tracing possibly infected people. Expectedly, these actions have raised concerns about the negative impact of massive surveillance.

However, while we recognize the legitimacy of these concerns, the problem in Latin America takes different dimensions than in Europe, North America, and East Asia. For the moment, the governments in the region have significant problems to launch and maintain massive digital surveillance apparatuses.

12.01.2021 - 11:41 [ waccglobal / Twitter ]

Does the #COVID-19 pandemic mark the birth of a new form of #biopolitics? The Latin American case shows important departures from Europe and the U.S., both in the adoption of surveillance technologies and in the types of biopolitical control

11.01.2021 - 19:50 [ Neil Clark / Twitter ]

Lockdowns only end when we realise they are not meant to end.

11.01.2021 - 19:44 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

People with common colds testing positive for Covid-19 may simply be asymptomatic cases, experts reveal

Trademark symptoms of seasonal flu could be mistaken for symptoms of Covid-19 if the individual tests positive for the virus, it is claimed.

More than eight in ten people who test positive for coronavirus show none of the main symptoms at the time they are tested, a major study by UCL previously revealed.

However, those who test positive when they have cold symptoms may mistake them as being a part of the virus – adding to fears that it is taking a new guise as fresh strains emerge.

11.01.2021 - 08:14 [ DailyMal.co.uk ]

No 10 considers a tougher lockdown ‚with curfews, exercise limits, compulsory masks outside, no support bubbles and nurseries shut‘ if Covid cases keep rising‘ – amid suggestion ‚people may only be allowed to leave home ONCE a week‘

– The Cabinet Office refused to deny that the draconian new laws were incoming after UK’s streets were busy
– They instead pointed to Matt Hancock’s vague statement on rules earlier today: ‚Follow the rules we’ve got‘
– Hancock refused to speculate when asked if harsher measures coming, such as curfews and closing nurseries
– Whitehall source said potential changes included introducing ban on people leaving their homes more than once a week

10.01.2021 - 15:33 [ theGuardian.com ]

NHS could vaccinate UK against Covid in five days, says Oxford professor

Sir John Bell, regius chair of medicine at the University of Oxford, said stubborn NHS bureaucrats were standing in the way of a high-speed mass inoculation programme that could prevent many further deaths.

“The NHS has the theoretical capacity to immunise everybody in five days if they want to, but I don’t get the sense they are really motivated,” Bell told the Times.

10.01.2021 - 15:27 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

No10 is examining plans to keep bars closed for FIVE MONTHS with full lockdown until late March as Covid death toll passes 80,000

Prof Whitty commended the public for their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and noted the hope offered by various vaccines, but he echoed other experts in saying it would be some weeks before the jabs start to reduce the number of people taken to hospital.

10.01.2021 - 14:42 [ Neil Clark, journalist & broadcaster / Twitter ]

(1) How do we know we’re not bring told the truth? There’s c 1600-1700 deaths a day at this time of the year. Yet we are told that ´1300 are dying from Covid’. But with no excess deaths that means just 3-400 from pneumonia, flu, heart disease, cancers? That is clearly absurd.

(09.01.2021)

(2) Clearly what is happening is a reclassification of deaths. Non-Covid deaths are being reclassified as ´Covid deaths’ by means of ramped up PCR testing. Which begs the question: why are they doing this, if not to justify lockdowns and other restrictions?

10.01.2021 - 14:23 [ theCanary.co ]

Coronavirus data contractors engaged in dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns

(10.05.2020)

Palantir was co-founded in 2004 by Paypal owner and billionaire Peter Thiel. What the blog doesn’t reveal is that Palantir’s client list has included amomgst others, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Centre for Disease Control, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point and the IRS.

Furthermore, in 2016, it was revealed Palantir had a $34.6m contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and helped the Customs and Border Protection Agency create the Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI) system to track immigrants.

Nor does the blog mention that Palantir worked for UK intelligence and was awarded contracts to handle vast data sets on UK citizens for British spy agency GCHQ.

09.01.2021 - 18:18 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

09.01.2021 - 18:12 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.