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[] Jason Beale's play-by-play of Don Lemon accidentally making Trump look BRILLIANT for shutting down research program is PRICELESS Published:4/5/2020 8:00:19 AM
[e3a1b1e9-a015-5bec-8b70-641468e39111] Andy Puzder In coronavirus crisis, Trump displays leadership Americans expect and want The American people know genuine leadership when we see it, and the leadership President Trump has demonstrated instills confidence that he has what it takes to guide us through this storm. Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[Politics] Top Sanders Advisers Urge Him to Drop Out The campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., along with his strategist, see the writing on the wall and are urging the Democratic socialist to drop out of the race, two sources told The Washington Post.... Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[worldNews] Albania's coronavirus cases surge for third day in row Albania reported 28 new cases of the new coronavirus on Sunday and said a failure to respect social distancing had led to the highest numbers of infections over the last three days.
Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[Markets] Dow Jones Futures: Why This Stock Market Rally Is More Dangerous Than The Coronavirus Market Crash Dow Jones futures: The choppy stock market rally is riskier for active investors than the coroanavirus stock market crash. AMD, Nvidia, Amazon and Microsoft are stocks to watch. Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[Markets] "I'd Rather Vote For Trump" - Bernie-Backing Joe Rogan Disses Dems For "Making Us All Look Dumb Over Biden" "I'd Rather Vote For Trump" - Bernie-Backing Joe Rogan Disses Dems For "Making Us All Look Dumb Over Biden"

Comdeian and host of one of the world's most popular podcasts, Joe Rogan, has said he would rather vote for Donald Trump than Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, should the former vice-president become the Democratic nominee.

Speaking on April 3 with guest Eric Weinstein, a mathematician, economist, and managing director of Thiel Capital, Rogan said he “could not” vote for Biden, adding that the Democratic Party has “essentially made us all morons.”

Breitbart's Josh Caplan was the first to transcribe the conversation:

ERIC WEINSTEIN: I think that in general people, when they are given no choice at all, express themselves moronically.

JOE ROGAN: When they are given no choice at all — How so?

WEINSTEIN: I want a choice of an actual president that’s viable. I don’t have one. Now you’re going to ask me which of the none-viable people do you like best?

ROGAN: This is the real issue with the Democratic Party. They’ve essentially made us all morons with this Joe Biden thing.

WEINSTEIN: Can you imagine?

ROGAN: I can’t vote for that guy.

WEINSTEIN: I can’t vote for him, I can’t vote for Trump.

ROGAN: I’d rather vote for Trump than [Biden]. I don’t think he can handle anything. You’re relying entirely on his cabinet. If you want to talk about an individual leader who can communicate, he can’t do that. And we don’t know what the fuck he’ll be like after a year in office.

As The Epoch Times' Katabella Roberts reports, Rogan, who previously endorsed Biden’s primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), went on to speak about Trump’s ability to handle the pressure that comes with being president of the United States, noting that the role appeared to take a visible toll on previous Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

“The pressure of being the president of the United States is something that no one has ever prepared for. The only one who seems to be fine with it is Trump, oddly enough. He doesn’t seem to be aging at all, or in any sort of decline. Obama, almost immediately, started looking older. George W, almost immediately, started looking older,” Rogan added.

Speaking of Biden, Rogan also noted that the former vice president can “barely talk,” and “forgets what he is saying halfway in the conversation.”

Describing the former vice president’s speech as “not a normal way to communicate unless he’s high as f**k,” Rogan alos pointed out that Biden is “showing actual real deterioration, he is not bouncing back.”

Watch the full podcast here:

Rogan had previously said that he would “probably vote” for Sanders back in January, noting that the Vermont Senator has been “insanely consistent his entire life.”

“I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie. Him, as a human being, when I was hanging out with him, I believe in him, I like him, I like him a lot,” he told New York Times columnist Bari Weiss in a podcast, which was later retweeted by Sanders.

“He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from,” Rogan added.

As of April 5, Biden is on track to win the nomination, securing 1,217 of the 1,991 delegates needed in the primaries held up to this point. His socialist rival, Sanders, has 914 delegates. According to the Washington Post, aides and allies of Sanders have advised him to step down from the presidential race after losing hope in his campaign.

The next primary is Wisconsin on Tuesday, which polls predict Biden will win.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 08:50
Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[] Sunday Morning Book Thread 04-05-2020 Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules), outcasts, rejects, the disaffected, and other rebel scum. Welcome once... Published:4/5/2020 8:00:18 AM
[] Sunday morning talking heads Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[worldNews] Death at home: the unseen toll of Italy's coronavirus crisis It took Silvia Bertuletti 11 days of frantic phone calls to persuade a doctor to visit her 78-year-old father Alessandro, who was gripped by fever and struggling for breath.
Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[Markets] The Moneyist: ‘Coronavirus has ruined everything.’ My husband refuses to work. Is it too much to ask him to find a job when millions of people are now out of work? ‘I see him every day relaxing and taking it easy while I’m working. I’ve suggested jobs with car services and food-delivery services, but to no avail.’
Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[Politics] Economist Stephen Moore: 'Depression' Possible If Economy Not Restarted By May The United States could be headed into another Great Depression if the "lock-down of our economy" isn't restarted by May, economist Stephen Moore is warning. Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[Uncategorized] Failure of the Media Week at Legal Insurrection All the news you may have missed. Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[topics:organisations/retail-and-consumer-industry] What essential shops are open during the coronavirus lockdown? Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[Markets] 'Modern Piracy': Germany Joins France & Canada In Accusing Trump Of Stealing Masks 'Modern Piracy': Germany Joins France & Canada In Accusing Trump Of Stealing Masks

On Friday Germany lashed at the United States for what one top lawmaker in Berlin called "an act of modern piracy" after US authorities "confiscated" a Chinese-manufactured shipment of 200,000 protective masks after they arrived at a port in Thailand while en route to Germany.

In an amazing irony, the masks had actually been purchased by the German government from an American company — though manufactured in China — and yet the US still intercepted them at a moment Trump has warned US companies with factories in China they'll “have a big price to pay” if they don't increase supply to the US.

By the end of the week in total three US allies accused Washington of theft over intercepts and seizures of supplies being shipped out of China, namely Canada, France and Germany.

Image via BBC

Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel stated bluntly of Washington's brazen move: "Even in times of global crisis, we should not be ruled by Wild West methods," according to Deutsche Welle. The German newspaper explained further:

The state of Berlin had ordered FFP2-class respirators for Berlin police officers, who continue to operate during the crisis.

The chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich, said the confiscation was "illegal" and called for the incident to be clarified.

Interestingly, this whole episode underscores just how desperately strained the US health system is becoming under the COVID-19 panemic, considering the unprecedented lengths the US administration is willing to go, essentially resorting to "piracy" - as Germany put it.

Canada on Thursday also lashed out after US authorities apparently muscled their way into redirecting a protective gear shipment intended for America's northern neighbor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "concerned" over reports that a crucial major shipment was depleted after "a higher bidder" took advantage of the situation. "We understand that the needs in the US are very extensive, but it's the same in Canada, so we have to work together," Trudeau said.

The same allegation was made by French officials. "The leader of the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, accused unidentified Americans of swooping in with cash at the last minute to secure shipments already promised to French buyers," AFP reported.

Valerie Pecresse, government minister over France's most populous region, said that Washington is "just looking to do business on the back of the whole world's distress," in a television interview. Other French ministers reported similar experiences when trying to procure emergency protective gear.

International reports described one egregious last minute 'intervention' as follows:

As a planeload of masks was loaded up and prepared for departure from Shanghai to France this week, American buyers turned up on the tarmac at the last minute to purchase the shipment for three times its value. “A French order was bought out with cash by Americans on the tarmac, and the plane that was to fly to France took off for the US instead,” Rénaud Muselier, the head of the southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region told RT France on Wednesday. 

The US side, meanwhile, has vehemently denied the allegations. "The United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France," a senior Trump administration official told AFP. "Reports to the contrary are completely false."

However, it's highly unusual if not unheard of that three close US allies at the same time would come forward to accuse the US of 'theft' and even "piracy" — and further of bullying tactics at a moment global crisis. It will be interesting to see if the reports continue and grow into next week as Trump ramps up his rhetoric both against China and domestic companies over-reliant on their foreign-based factories. 

Regardless, the damage is done, and US officials should be wary that inevitably in international relations what goes around comes around — meaning the Europeans are no doubt already planning their revenge, and could 'return the favor' sometime in the near or distant future, at some crucial moment Washington will be desperate to swing things its way.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 08:25
Published:4/5/2020 7:27:34 AM
[worldNews] Pope opens Holy Week amid pandemic; says now is the time to serve Pope Francis marked a surreal Palm Sunday in an empty St. Peter's Basilica, urging people living through the coronavirus pandemic not to be so concerned with what they lack but how they can ease the suffering of others.
Published:4/5/2020 6:57:32 AM
[Markets] Tunisia Unleashes 'Robocop' To Enforce Virus Lockdown Tunisia Unleashes 'Robocop' To Enforce Virus Lockdown

Like almost every country in the world, the virus crisis has been a cover to usher in a massive surveillance state

The latest example of this dystopic future coming to realty much quicker than anyone has anticipated is in Tunisia, reported AFP

Tunisia's interior ministry has deployed a four-wheeled robot that harasses people if they're violating the strict public health orders to shelter-at-home.

The robot is known as PGuard, uses infrared and thermal imaging cameras to hunt for people who are violating the public health order. If someone is spotted, the robot will chase them down and ask: 

 "What are you doing? Show me your ID. You don't know there's a lockdown?"

Last week, one unsuspecting man was busted by a PGuard robot. Here's the video of how it all went down:

As of Saturday morning, Tunisia has confirmed 495 COVID-19 cases and 18 virus-related deaths. The North African country has been under night-time curfew since March 17, and stricter lockdowns were implemented on March 22, with expected lockdowns that could extend through April.

Enova Robotics, the PGuard manufacturer, headquartered in Sousse, Tunisia, told AFP the robot is capable of security patrols via a remote operator or autonomously through artificial intelligence.

Tunisia's interior ministry is expected to deploy a fleet of PGuard robots in the near term. Some robots will patrol around hospitals, while others will monitor streets for those who violate curfew.

Social media users have referred to PGuard as 'robocop' as it patrols streets in the country's capital.

We've noted how ground-based robots and unmanned aircraft have been used across the world to combat the fast-spreading virus. We showed readers last week how "pandemic drones," used to detect if people have a fever or are sneezing and coughing, are soon going to be deploying in cities to detect virus carriers.

The outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies the ushering in of the surveillance state. Governments and corporations are quickly deploying big data and spy tools to monitor people during the pandemic.

The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, and now the war on COVID-19: All start as legitimate responses but then are used by politicians to increase the surveillance state and erode any freedoms citizens have left. 

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 07:30
Published:4/5/2020 6:57:32 AM
[SPY] Major Technical Failures Confirms Bear Market Risk Published:4/5/2020 6:28:26 AM
[Markets] Russia's Counter-COVID-19 Aid To America Advances Case For A New Detente Russia's Counter-COVID-19 Aid To America Advances Case For A New Detente

Authored by Andrew Korybko via One World Press,

Russia’s urgent dispatch of counter-COVID aid to America was both symbolic and substantial in the sense that it improved the country’s reputation among average Americans which in turn advances Trump’s years-long case for a “New Detente” between these two Great Powers.

From Russia With Love

Observers could be forgiven for not believing it when they first heard the news, but Russia just urgently dispatched counter-COVID aid to America in a real-life scene that seems ripped from the pages of political fiction. Had anyone speculated about this scenario just a few short months ago, practically nobody would have believed them, but World War C is truly turning the world upside down faster than anyone could have expected. This humanitarian assistance was sent after Trump agreed to his Russian counterpart’s proposal during a phone call earlier this week, with President Putin likely offering his country’s aid in order to help the American people caught in the new global epicenter of this crisis and also to show his unwavering solidarity with the US during this time of need just like how he reacted immediately after he found out about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Looking beyond his noble intentions, it’s clear that this move was both symbolic and substantial in the sense that it improved the country’s reputation among average Americans which in turn advances Trump’s years-long case for a “New Detente” between these two Great Powers.

Soft Power...

Regarding the soft power angle, Russia killed several birds with a single stone, though it should always be remembered that it wouldn’t have been able to do this had Trump not approved. The fake news that up to 80% of its earlier aid to Italy was “useless” has now been debunked and all but forgotten after a country much more powerful than the Southern European one (and which arguably exerts a strong degree of hegemonic control over its affairs) accepted President Putin’s similar proposal for humanitarian assistance.

Seeing as how the planet is now fighting World War C, this could serve to remind the average American of their country’s wartime alliance with the USSR during World War II against the shared scourge of fascism. Not only could that improve Russia’s overall standing in their eyes following four years of interconnected fake news scandals, but it could also have the effect of getting them to passively agree to any forthcoming moves that Trump might eventually propose related to easing the sanctions regime against that country.

While their geopolitical rivalry still undoubtedly exists and probably won’t go away anytime soon (if at all), now is the perfect time for these two to consider the wisdom of more closely cooperating with one another on all fronts.

...And Substance

Their joint struggle against COVID-19 has captivated the world’s attention precisely because of how unexpected it was that Russia of all countries would end up sending humanitarian assistance to America. Trump willingly gave Russia an historically unprecedented soft power victory, but he did so with keen strategic calculations in mind. He’s been facing intense opposition from some of his permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) over the past few years over his desire to enter into a “New Detente” with Russia, which the author explained more in detail in his August 2019 analysis about how “The ‘New Detente’ Is Proceeding Apace, And China Should Be Very Concerned“.

In a nutshell, the US believes that reaching a series of “pragmatic compromises” with Russia over Syria, Ukraine, and other issues could facilitate that country’s rapprochement with the West and thus comparatively lessen its growing strategic dependence on China by default, which Moscow turned to more out of necessity than choice following the sudden commencement of the New Cold War in 2013-2014.

The problem, however, is that so-called “Cold Warriors” and other anti-Russian hawks believe that this strategy is fated to fail because they simply don’t trust Moscow.

Defying The “Deep State” (With Saudi Help?)

Therein lays one of the geneses of the Russiagate conspiracy (the other being to discredit Trump’s populist policies at home), but Trump brilliantly realized the mutual benefits of letting President Putin score a soft power victory in order to advance their countries’ shared strategic interests related to the “New Detente”.

With Americans now more aware than ever before that Russia isn’t the “dastardly villain” that many of them have been brainwashed by the “deep state” and its surrogates (both in Congress and the Mainstream Media) into believing, they might naturally be more in support of Trump’s original promise to enter into a meaningful rapprochement with the country after Moscow sent them aid that literally saved people’s lives.

Before getting to that point, however, Trump and President Putin appear to be on the verge of a “goodwill experiment” to test one another’s true intentions given what the American leader said about his country potentially joining rumored Russian-Saudi oil talks to reverse the recent price crash that devastated the global economy at its most vulnerable moment. Should this initiative succeed and all three countries establish a mechanism (whether formal or informal) to restore the oil price, then the next phase of the “New Detente” might begin shortly after.

Concluding Thoughts

The US and Russia are already in talks on a wide array of issues including energy geopolitics in Europe, NATO, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea, et al., so it’s only natural for them to finally make some progress on reaching the long-awaited series of “pragmatic compromises” that Trump originally wanted to clinch during the first year of his presidency but was prevented from doing so by his “deep state’s” fake news Russiagate scandals. Now is the perfect time for defying the “deep state” with the support of the American people after they’ve come to suddenly have a much more favorable view of their country’s rival after it urgently dispatched humanitarian assistance to them with Trump’s support in order to help everyone improve their odds of surviving World War C.

This soft power “coup” was made possible by Presidents Trump and Putin cooperating in pursuit of their shared interests, but it might (inadvertently in terms of Russian motivations) have the potential to become a strategic “coup” with time if Russia’s eventual rapprochement with the West lessens its growing dependence on China and thus places the People’s Republic in a comparatively more disadvantageous position than before.

That’s certainly not Russia’s intent, but few doubt that it’s the US’.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 07:00
Published:4/5/2020 6:28:26 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Josh Blackman] Today in Supreme Court History: April 5, 1982 4/5/1982: Justice Abe Fortas dies. Published:4/5/2020 6:28:26 AM
[21d7c75b-9b3e-5686-a6eb-00a89a33a9f6] Paul Batura: The Palm Sunday that gave me hope the sun would shine again  Wherever you are this Palm Sunday, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. We may not be able to see what God is up to, but we can still believe He is working as we sing. Published:4/5/2020 6:28:26 AM
[7a0f1fb1-bc95-5824-9d20-b9b542fd7dc9] Newt Gingrich: Coronavirus harming our economic health – but government programs can help businesses survive As the federal government advises social distancing and governors across the country implement stay-at-home orders to mitigate the virus, Americans are not going out to spend money. Published:4/5/2020 5:28:34 AM
[] EMT 04/05/20 Happy Sunday. Going to work on getting my taxes done 3 months early for once.... Published:4/5/2020 5:28:34 AM
[Coronavirus] Dem Rep Spreads Chinese Propaganda While Blaming Coronavirus Deaths on Trump

An Illinois Democrat who accused President Donald Trump of killing Americans by lying to the public about the coronavirus also spread pro-China misinformation about the deadly disease during a town hall with constituents.

The post Dem Rep Spreads Chinese Propaganda While Blaming Coronavirus Deaths on Trump appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/5/2020 4:57:05 AM
[worldNews] India curbs diagnostic testing kit exports as virus spreads India is restricting the export of most diagnostic testing kits, as coronavirus cases in the South Asian nation topped 3,350 on Sunday despite a three-week nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the respiratory disease.
Published:4/5/2020 4:57:05 AM
[3f05bb57-36e4-5319-a06a-3ed13d0c714e] Quentin E. Hodgson: During coronavirus pandemic, can Congress members do their jobs by teleworking? While millions of Americans bow to the threat of COVID-19 – the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus – by staying home and teleworking, it’s worth asking if the nation’s lawmakers should do the same. Published:4/5/2020 4:28:00 AM
[worldNews] Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus Iran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus.
Published:4/5/2020 3:56:42 AM
[SPY] Weighing The Week Ahead: Navigating The Maze Of Models Published:4/5/2020 3:27:35 AM
[worldNews] Australia upbeat over slowing coronavirus spread, urges vigilance Australian health officials said on Sunday they were cautiously optimistic about the slowing spread of the coronavirus in the country but warned social distancing restrictions are to stay in place for months.
Published:4/5/2020 3:00:09 AM
[Comedy] chonk

that which is fat or large, in a way that is majestic

"You have been visited by the chonk. He will bring good fortune."

Published:4/5/2020 2:29:02 AM
[worldNews] Greece quarantines second camp after coronavirus case confirmed Greece has quarantined a second migrant facility this week after a 53-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Sunday.
Published:4/5/2020 2:00:34 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Queen's coronavirus speech: What time is tonight's address? Published:4/5/2020 12:27:53 AM
[worldNews] Australia optimistic over slowing virus spread, urges vigilance Several Australian health officials said on Sunday they were cautiously optimistic about the slowing spread of coronavirus in the country but warned social distancing restrictions are to stay in place for months.
Published:4/4/2020 10:59:08 PM
[Markets] Did Bill Gates Just Reveal The Real Reason Behind The Lock-Downs? Did Bill Gates Just Reveal The Real Reason Behind The Lock-Downs?

Authored by Rosemary Frei via Off-Guardian.org,

On March 24 Bill Gates gave a highly revelatory 50-minute interview to Chris Anderson. Anderson is the Curator of TED, the non-profit that runs the TED Talks.

The Gates interview is the second in a new series of daily ‘Ted Connects’ interviews focused on COVID-19. The series’s website says that:

TED Connects: Community and Hope is a free, live, daily conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom.”

Anderson asked Gates at 3:49 in the video of the interview – which well over three million views now – about a ‘Perspective’ article by Gates that was published February 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“You wrote that this could be the once-in-a-century pandemic that people have been fearing. Is that how you think of it, still?” queried Anderson.

“Well, it’s awful to say this but, we could have a respiratory virus whose case fatality rate was even higher. If this was something like smallpox, that kills 30 percent of people. So this is horrific,” responded Gates.

“But, in fact, most people even who get the COVID disease are able to survive. So in that, it’s quite infectious – way more infectious than MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] or SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] were. [But] it’s not as fatal as they were. And yet the disruption we’re seeing in order to knock it down is really completely unprecedented.”

Gates reiterates the dire consequences for the global economy later in the interview.

“We need a clear message about that,” Gates said starting at 26:52.

It is really tragic that the economic effects of this are very dramatic. I mean, nothing like this has ever happened to the economy in our lifetimes. But … bringing the economy back and doing [sic] money, that’s more of a reversible thing than bringing people back to life. So we’re going to take the pain in the economic dimension, huge pain, in order to minimize the pain in disease and death dimension.”

However, this goes directly against the imperative to balance the benefits and costs of the screening, testing and treatment measures for each ailment – as successfully promulgated for years by, for example, the Choosing Wisely campaign – to provide the maximum benefit to individual patients and society as a whole

As noted in an April 1 article in OffGuardian, there may be dramatically more deaths from the economic breakdown than from COVID-19 itself.

“By all accounts, the impact of the response will be great, far-reaching, and long-lasting,”

Kevin Ryan wrote in the article. Ryan estimated that well over two million people will likely die from the sequelae of the lock-downs and other drastic measures to enforce ‘social distancing.’

Millions could potentially die from suicide, drug abuse, lack of medical coverage or treatment, poverty and lack of food access, on top of other predictable social, medical and public-health problems stemming from the response to COVID-19.

Gates and Anderson did not touch on any of those sequelae. Instead, they focused on rapidly ramping up testing and medical interventions for COVID-19.

Gates said at 30:29 in the interview that he and a large team are moving fast to test anti-virals, vaccines and other therapeutics and to bring them to market as quickly as possible.

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust with support from Mastercard and now others, created this therapeutic accelerator to really triage out [candidate therapeutics]...

You have hundreds of people showing up and saying, ‘Try this, try that.’ So we look at lab assays, animal models, and so we understand which things should be prioritized for these very quick human trials that need to be done all over the world.”

The accelerator was launched March 10 with approximately $125 million in seed funding. Three days later Gates left Microsoft.

Not long before that, on January 23, Gates’s organization the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced it will fund three programs to develop COVID-19 vaccines. These are the advancing of DNA-vaccine candidates against MERS and Lassa fever, the development of a “‘molecular clamp’ platform” that “enables targeted and rapid vaccine production against multiple viral pathogens,” and the manufacture and Phase 1 clinical study of an mRNA vaccine against COVID.

“The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as a new partnership. The aim is to advance nCoV-2019 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible,” according to a news release.

Then at 32:50 in the video, Anderson asked whether the blood serum from people who have recovered from a COVID infection can be used to treat others.

“I heard you mention that one possibility might be treatments from the serum, the blood serum of people who had had the disease and then recovered. So I guess they’re carrying antibodies,” said Anderson.

“Talk a bit about that and how that could work and what it would take to accelerate that.”

[Note that Anderson did not ask Gates about, instead, just letting most of the population – aside from people most vulnerable to serious illness from the infection, who should be quarantined — be exposed to COVID-19 and as a result very likely recover and develop life-long immunity. As at least one expert has observed, “as much as ninety-nine percent of active cases [of COVID-19] in the general population are ‘mild’ and do not require specific medical treatment” to recover.]

“This has always been discussed as, ‘How could you pull that off?’” replied Gates. 

“So people who are recovered, it appears, have very effective antibodies in their blood. So you could go, transfuse them and only take out white cells, the immune cells.”

However, Gates continued, he and his colleagues have dismissed that possibility because it’s “fairly complicated – compared to a drug we can make in high volume, you know, the cost of taking it out and putting it back in probably doesn’t scale as well.”

Then a few seconds later, at 33:45, Gates drops another bomb:

We don’t want to have a lot of recovered people...

To be clear, we’re trying – through the shut-down in the United States – to not get to one percent of the population infected. We’re well below that today, but with exponentiation, you could get past that three million [people or approximately one percent of the U.S. population being infected with COVID-19 and the vast majority recovering]. I believe we will be able to avoid that with having this economic pain.”

It appears that rather than let the population be exposed to the virus and most develop antibodies that give them natural, long-lasting immunity to COVID-19, Gates and his colleagues far prefer to create a vast, hugely expensive, new system of manufacturing and selling billions of test kits, and in parallel very quickly developing and selling billions of antivirals and vaccines.

And then, when the virus comes back again a few months later and most of the population is unexposed and therefore vulnerable, again selling billions of test kits and medical interventions.

Right after that, at 34:14, Gates talked about how he sees things rolling out from there.

Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, who’s a vaccinated person...

...Because you don’t want people moving around the world where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly.

You don’t want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around.

So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.”

[Some time on the afternoon of March 31 the last sentence of this quote was edited out of the official TED video of the interview. Fortunately, recordings of the complete interview are archived elsewhere.]

In the October 2019 Event 201 novel-corona virus-pandemic simulation co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and a division of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a poll that was part of the simulation said that 65% of people in the U.S. would be eager to take a vaccine for COVID-19, “even if it’s experimental.”

This will be tremendously lucrative.

Vaccines are very big business: this Feb. 23 CNBC article, for example, describes the vaccine market as six times bigger than it was 20 years ago, at more than $35 billion annually today, and providing a $44 return for every $1 invested in the world’s 94 lowest-income countries.

Notably, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which has an endowment of $52 billion – has given more than $2.4 billion to the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2000, according to a 2017 Politico article. (While over the same time frame countries have reduced their contributions to the world body, particularly after the 2008-2009 depression, and now account for less than one-quarter of the WHO’s budget.) The WHO is now coordinating approximately 50 groups around the world that are working on candidate vaccines against COVID-19.

The Politico article quotes a Geneva-based NGO representative as saying Gates is “treated liked a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20,” and that Gates is one of the most influential people in global health.

Meanwhile, officials around the world are doing their part to make sure everyone social distances, self-isolates and/or stay locked down.

For example, here’s Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen DE Villa, at her and Toronto Mayor John Tory’s March 30 press briefing:

We find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. We should expect some more people will get sick – and for some, sadly, will die.

This is why it is so important to stay at home to reduce virus spread. And to protect front-line workers, healthcare workers and our essential workers, so they can continue to protect us. People shouldn’t have to die, people shouldn’t have to risk death taking care of us because others won’t practice social distancing or physical distancing.”

Yet look how close Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, is sitting to Haley Chazan, Senior Manager, Media Relations, for Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health of Ontario.

This was on Friday, March 27, just before the start of that day’s daily press conference by Dr. Williams and Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe:

They were sitting two seats, or just a couple of feet, apart. A short time later Chazan got up and stood even closer to Dr. Williams for a little while:

Dr. Williams and Chazan do not live together. Rather, Dr. Williams very likely knows – just as Gates knows – that there is little any reason to worry about being in close contact with other people unless you or they are vulnerable to developing a severe illness from COVID-19. He surely knows, also, that if you contract COVID-19 and you’re otherwise healthy you’ll very likely have few symptoms, if any, and recover quickly. And that this exposure in fact is beneficial because in the process you will develop antibodies to the virus and have natural, long-lasting immunity to it.

Yet in the March 27 press conference, just like all the others he has participated in during the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Williams lectured the public about maintaining social distancing. He told people not to go outside on the coming weekend to enjoy the nice weather because, otherwise, they might walk past someone and not be two metres apart.

Dr. Williams is among the large cadre of powerful officials who’ve crashed the global economy by forcing tens of millions of small- and medium-sized businesses to close in the name of the need for forced, severe, social distancing and lock-downs.

They’ve shattered society, suspended most civil liberties and prohibited most activities and connections that kept people mentally and physically healthy. At the same time the officials have prioritized COVID-19 care over everything else and, as a result, severely limited billions of people’s access to life-saving healthcare services ranging from acquiring medication and blood transfusions to having organ transplants and cancer surgeries.

*  *  *

Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist in Canada. You can find her recent detailed investigative analysis of COVID here and follow her on Twitter.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 23:40
Published:4/4/2020 10:59:08 PM
[Markets] Mysterious Colorado Doomsday Shelter For When "Law & Order Breaks Down" Sees Spike In Interest Mysterious Colorado Doomsday Shelter For When "Law & Order Breaks Down" Sees Spike In Interest

As the pandemic unfolds across the US, city dwellers are getting the hell out of dodge and escaping to rural areas. We noted this last week, with many leaving large metro areas in California, fleeing for the mountains and rural communities to limit their probabilities of contracting COVID-19. Now it appears the virus crisis is evolving, as fears of social unrest across large US metro areas are spiking interest in doomsday shelters.  

The Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warned last week that a "social bomb" is getting ready to explode across Western cities amid the collapse of economies and high unemployment. This has forced many people to request information about a mysterious doomsday ranch in Colorado, called Fortitude Ranch, stockpiled with food, weapons, ammo, and designated bunkers, reported CBS4 Denver.

The ranch describes itself as "a survival community equipped to survive any disaster and long-term loss of law and order," and its actual location is unknown to non-members.

"Fortitude Ranch is a survival community equipped to survive any type of disaster and long-term loss of law and order, managed by full time staff. Fortitude Ranch is affordable (about $1,000/person annually) because of large numbers of members and economies of scale. Fortitude Ranch is especially attractive to join because it doubles as a recreation and vacation facility as well as a survival retreat. Members can vacation, hunt, fish and recreate at our forest and mountain locations in good times, and shelter at Fortitude Ranch to survive a collapse," the company's website said.

Drew Miller, a retired Air Force Colonel, operates several ranches in Colorado and West Virginia, with ten more locations expected in the near term. 

"If law and order breaks down, then by all means, we will open and ask our members to come, but thus far our members pretty well understand that they really don't need to be at Fortitude Ranch now," Miller said.

The beginning innings of social unrest could be unfolding in the US. President Trump signed an executive order last Friday that could call up as many as one million reserves, not to fight the virus solely, but to maintain social order.

If an economic crisis collapses the US government, the doomsday ranch states that it will operate a "fleet of aircraft" that can travel to and from other sites, as it says, "overland travel may be unsafe for a long time."

And for years, mainstream media laughed at the prepper community – calling anyone who preps a "tin foil hat conspiracy theorist," but, in a few short months, it's those who bashed preppers are the crazy ones as they frantically storm big-box retailers without 3M N95 masks for food.

The virus storm has triggered the next big shift: a mass exodus of cities as lockdowns Martial law has confined people to their studio apartments, with no security of land, no weapons for protection, and limited food. And where are the people that manage to escape the city going? Well, besides a doomsday ranch, there is also a huge demand for "prepper properties..."

The next chapter of the virus crisis could be here in a matter of weeks, as lockdowns are being extended across the Western world, now till the end of April, people are now starting to get frustrated with governments. 

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 23:15
Published:4/4/2020 10:26:20 PM
[1ad309d6-651f-5740-86f6-4d54877e8fb3] Meghan Markle’s real name and title revealed on Archie’s birth certificate Royal family fanatics were left scratching their heads when baby Archie’s birth certificate was finally made public this week. Among the revelations in the document, registered by Prince Harry, were Meghan‘s real name. Published:4/4/2020 9:59:43 PM
[c71f3a4a-db2f-597b-86db-8ba5c0376824] Sean Hannity: Gov. Cuomo, stop denying New Yorkers hydroxychloroquine The governor is failing the people of New York AGAIN. Published:4/4/2020 9:59:43 PM
[Capitalism] Shopping in the 21st century at Walmart and Lowe’s

Once upon a time, we Americans would walk boldly into a Walmart or Lowe’s, grab a shopping cart, troll the aisles getting whatever we could need or want, and then head to the cash register, to stand packed in line with myriad other people to checkout. Those days seem like

The post Shopping in the 21st century at Walmart and Lowe’s appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:4/4/2020 9:59:43 PM
[Markets] How China's Fake-News-Machine Is Rewriting The History Of COVID-19, Even As The Pandemic Unfolds How China's Fake-News-Machine Is Rewriting The History Of COVID-19, Even As The Pandemic Unfolds

Authored by Robert Boxwell via The South China Morning Post,

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s retweet of an article blaming the US for infecting Wuhan with coronavirus went viral, viewed 160 million times within hours. But where did the story come from?

By now, the early history of Covid-19 is well known, if not clear in its details. The virus was first detected somewhere around Wuhan, in Hubei province, then appears to have entered the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, from where it infected many others. Doctors in Wuhan first noticed the novel coronavirus in December and began exchanging urgent warnings.

Local government authorities set out to silence them; some were detained and made to sign documents admitting wrongdoing.Meanwhile, Wuhan officials went about business as usual, which included a disastrous Lunar New Year banquet attended by about 40,000 families. Soon, many more thousands around Wuhan were infected, with hundreds dead or dying, including ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who had been punished for trying to raise the alarm.Realising it was in the firing line not just for running the nation that had unleashed the deadly virus on the world but also for ignoring, covering up and denying its spread, China’s Communist Party moved into damage-control mode. This included suggesting it was the United Statesthat was responsible for the virus.

Chinese state media regularly tweet propaganda and what many describe as “fake news”. Global Times has 1.7 million followers on Twitter; China Xinhua News, 12.6 million; People’s Daily, 7.1 million; China Daily, 4.3 million; and China Global Television Network (CGTN), 14 million.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman and deputy director general of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Kyodo

Zhao Lijian, spokesman and deputy director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ information department, had 287,000 followers when he tweeted a link to a conspi­racy website alleging the US was responsible for the virus. (Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had 146,700 followers; the ministry’s “spokesperson” account, used by Geng Shuang, had 61,000; and Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Global Times, had 175,000.)

With the outbreak of an epidemic, one of the first jobs of scientists and doctors, even while they fight to save lives, is to identify its source. This is critical in the search for medicines to combat a virus and a vaccine to prevent its spread.

On January 24, an article written jointly by 29 Chinese medical doctors and scientists was published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals. The authors shared their findings from a study of patients who were suspected of having been infected with 2019-nCoV and had been admitted to a Wuhan hospital. The report said that by January 2, 41 of them had been “laboratory-confirmed” as infected with the virus – which causes Covid-19 – and two-thirds of those infected “had been exposed to the Huanan market”.

The findings appeared to support anecdotal evidence that the source of the virus was the market, which had been closed by city officials on January 1. This had been often repeated by Chinese authorities and reported widely in the global media. The Lancet article gave scientific currency to this narrative.

Then, on February 19, another study – this time published on ChinaXiv.org, an open repository and distribution website used by scientific researchers – suggested the market was likely not ground zero for the virus, but rather that it had been “imported”from outside.

The study was by a team of scientists from several institutions: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences; South China Agricultural University; and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research. It was revised on February 21. Neither version of the study suggested Covid-19 had originated outside China.

But the fake news machine was about to go to work.

On February 23, the People’s Daily’s English-language site reprinted a February 22 Global Times article titled, “Japanese TV report sparks speculations in China that Covid-19 may have originated in US”. The original Global Times article, which is no longer available online, began: “A report from a Japanese TV station that suspected some of the 14,000 Americans died of influenza may have unknowningly [sic] contracted the coronavirus has gone viral on Chinese social media, stoking fears and speculations in China that the novel coronavirus may have originated in the US.

“The report, by TV Asahi Corporation of Japan, suggested that the US government may have failed to grasp how rampant the virus have gone [sic] on the US soil.”

The article continued: “The story sparked various conspiracy theories on [sic] Chinese cyberspace.

“The Military World Games were held in Wuhan in October. ‘Perhaps the US delegates brought the coronavirus to Wuhan, and some mutation occurred to the virus, making it more deadly and contagious, and causing a wide­spread outbreak this year,’ a user posted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

“[An] international relations professor at the Shanghai-based Fudan University, noted that global virologists are working to track the origin of the virus, including the intel­ligence agencies. Netizens are encouraged to actively par­take in discussions, but preferrably [sic] in a rational fashion.”

The original Global Times article appears to have been replaced with one about the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s denial of the TV Asahi report.

On March 4, the People’s Daily reprint of this article was used as the basis for a piece published on conspiracy website GlobalResearch.ca, titled “China’s Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus Originate in the US?” It was the first of two articles on the website that would lead to Zhao’s tweet nine days later suggesting the US Army had brought the virus to Wuhan.

The March 4 article begins: “The Western media quickly took the stage and laid out the official narrative for the outbreak of the new coronavirus which appeared to have begun in China, claiming it to have originated with animals at a wet market in Wuhan.”

This omits a few salient facts: that China’s state-controlled media had also “laid out the official narrative”; that reporters had received that narrative from the Chinese government; and that in the early days of the outbreak, the majority of evidence, including the Lancet article by 29 Chinese doctors, pointed to the Wuhan market.

The Global Research article continues: “In fact the origin was for a long time unknown but it appears likely now, according to Chinese and Japanese reports, that the virus originated elsewhere, from multiple locations, but began to spread widely only after being introduced to the market.

“More to the point, it appears that the virus did not originate in China and, according to reports in Japanese and other media, may have originated in the US.”

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times. Photo: SCMP / Simon Song

The article then presents a subheading that inflates “may have originated in the US” to “Chinese Researchers Conclude the Virus Originated Outside of China”. Under­neath, it quotes two reports – a February 22 article in Global Times and a February 23 article in CGTN – both about the ChinaXiv study, which did not suggest the virus originated outside China.

But Global Research wanted readers to draw the conclusion that it did, and so it created some dots to be connected: “Chinese medical authorities – and ‘intelligence agencies’ – then conducted a rapid and wide-ranging search for the origin of the virus, collecting nearly 100 samples of the genome from 12 different countries on 4 continents, identifying all the varieties and mutations. During this research, they determined the virus outbreak had begun much earlier, probably in November, shortly after the Wuhan Military Games.

“They then came to the same independent conclusions as the Japanese researchers – that the virus did not begin in China but was introduced there from the outside.”

That was not the “conclusion” of the scientists who posted their research on ChinaXiv.

Next, citing a February 27 story on Xinhuanet, Global Research invokes a Chinese national hero, Zhong Nanshan, who led the fight to contain severe acute respiratory syn­drome in 2003. “China’s  top respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan said on January 27 … ‘Though the Covid-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China’.”

Global Research translates this for its readers: “But that is Chinese for ‘it originated someplace else, in another country’.”

Zhong did not say that. Neither did Xinhuanet. And the “Japanese researchers” Global Research refers to are never identified. The only reference to a Japanese source is: “In February of 2020, the Japanese Asahi news report (print and TV) claimed the coronavirus originated in the US, not in China …”

Global Research offers no link to Asahi, only a link to the February 23 People’s Daily article, which also has no Asahi link but was a reprint of the Global Times story, which appears to have been revised on February 22, and – you guessed it – provides no Asahi link.

An online search for “Asahi news coronavirus originated in the US” from February 1 to 29 reveals no link to any such Asahi article. Neither does a search of the Asahi news website, which returns 688 articles containing the word “coronavirus” through March 4. But not this one.

Global Research also cites the Fudan University quote in Global Times: “[The professor] stated that global virologists ‘including the intelligence agencies’ were tracking the origin of the virus. Also of interest, the Chinese government did not shut the door on this. The news report stated: ‘Netizens are encouraged to actively partake in discussions, but prefer­ably in a rational fashion.’

“In China, that is meaningful. If the reports were rubbish, the government would clearly state that, and tell people to not spread false rumours.”

Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded by the police after alerting colleagues to a Sars-like virus and who later died of Covid-19. Photo: Weibo

The final piece of “evidence” in Global Research’s March 4 article is headed “Taiwan Virologist Suggests the Coronavirus Originated in the US”, and includes an embedded video of a Taiwan television show, identified as This! Is Not News, and a screenshot of a man with a pointer giving a colourful lecture about the origins of the virus. “The man in the video is a top virologist and pharmacologist who performed a long and detailed search for the source of the virus,” claims the article.

Except the man in the video – whom the report does not name – is not a virologist at all. He is a politician from the pro-Beijing New Party and a member of the Taipei City Council, who, before entering politics full time in 2002, was a pharmacology professor.

The clip opens with an introduction from a man in a crew cut, who talks about China and Russia and Georgian defectors carrying American biowarfare secrets, and mosquitoes and bats developed by the US for diabolical purposes. As he talks, tabloid-sized purple characters scroll along the bottom of the screen, punctuated with question marks and exclamation marks, and the one English acronym every conspiracy theorist worldwide knows: “CIA!”

Capping his performance is a 1981 analysis purported to have been carried out by the US Army that showed the attraction of “entomological warfare” to the US military and American taxpayers: 50 per cent of a city of 1.2 million people could be wiped out at a per-corpse cost of 29 cents.

Military Personnel stand guard outside the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick. Photo: AFP

Up next, “the man in the video”notes that, while the man with the crew cut had been talking in terms of Cold War-style geopolitics where everybody fears and loathes everybody else, he is there solely to discuss science. Then he waves a pointer with a plastic yellow index finger at its tip, indicating diagrams of multicoloured circles. As the most complex diagram arrives on screen, he reassures the show’s hostess, “The next slide will make it very clear.”

Such was Global Research’s Taiwan “expert evidence”. Undaunted, the article continues: “The Taiwanese doctor then stated the virus outbreak began earlier than assumed, saying, ‘We must look to September of 2019’.

“He stated the case in September of 2019 where some Japanese travelled to Hawaii and returned home infected, people who had never been to China. This was two months prior to the infections in China and just after the CDC suddenly and totally shut down the Fort Detrick bio-weapons lab claiming the facilities were insufficient to prevent loss of pathogens.”

The introduction of the US Army’s Fort Detrick bio-weapons lab is a solid piece of conspiracy theory crafts­manship. The “man in the video” had not mentioned Fort Detrick – Global Research did, in an apparent attempt to tie the Taiwanese “virologist’s” Japanese travellers who visited Hawaii in September to a US Army bioweapons lab.

The Fort Detrick facility had not been “suddenly and totally shut down” – it ceased research in mid-July (and not in September). And how one of the most contagious viruses in history travelled from Maryland to Hawaii over a six- to eight-week period, leaving no trail of illness and death, goes unexamined by Global Research.

Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan. Photo: Xinhua

For good measure, the article closes by listing six outbreaks in 2018, 2019 and 2020 of “pandemics” that “sickened” and “killed” people, chickens and pigs in China. Each includes notes such as, “China needs to purchase US agricultural products,” suggesting that as part of the trade war, the US has been unleashing pathogens in the mainland for more than two years in order to make China buy American.

In summary, the March 4 article invokes mainland hero Zhong, the “Japanese” and the “Taiwanese” – two American allies with no reason to lie – and adds the “CIA” and a leaky US bioweapons research lab for spice. All independent and none really confirming the others while appearing to come close. Perhaps most impressive of all, the author produced almost 2,000 America-bashing words, and not one of them was “Trump”.

On March 5, without citing the Global Research March 4 piece or any of the underlying Chinese media articles, Zhao tweeted: “Confirmed cases of #COVID19 were first found in China, but its origin is not necessarily in China. We are still tracing the origin.”

On March 11, Global Research published a follow-up: “COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US”.

The story begins by recapping the March 4 article, upgrading the never-found Japanese Asahi broadcasters and the “man in the video” to “Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists and pharmacologists [who] have deter­mined that the new coronavirus could have originated in the US”. The “man in the video” was now also a “physician” and a “scientist”.

Personnel working inside Fort Detrick. Photo: AFP

Recalling his attempt to place the first Covid-19 case in the US, Global Research again points out, “immediately prior to that, the CDC totally shut down the US Military’s main bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, due to an absence of safeguards against pathogen leakages, issuing a complete ‘cease and desist’ order to the military”.

As evidence, Global Research had posted a screenshot of an August 5 New York Times headline, “Deadly Germ Research Is Shut Down at Army Lab Over Safety Concerns; Problems with disposal of dangerous materials led the government to suspend research at the military’s leading biodefence centre”.

In fact, the New York Times article had not stated the centre had been “totally shut down”. It had reported that 900 people worked at the facility and, “Although many projects are on hold, [a facility spokeswoman] said scien­tists and other employees are continuing to work, just not on select agents”. Both The New York Times and a local newspaper that first reported the cessation of the research noted that no pathogens had escaped the facility.

Global Research’s March 11 story continues: “We also had the Japanese citizens infected in September of 2019, in Hawaii, people who had never been to China, these infec­tions occurring on US soil long before the outbreak in Wuhan but only shortly after the locking down of Fort Detrick.

“Then, on Chinese social media, another article appeared, aware of the above but presenting further details. It stated in part that five ‘foreign’ athletes or other personnel visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games (October 18-27, 2019) were hospitalised in Wuhan for an undetermined infection.”

The opening ceremony of the CISM Military World Games, in Wuhan. Photo: Reuters

That other article is a blog on Chinese social media, identified only by a QR code, that began: “Because there have been so many American dogs recently, in consider­ation for my account’s safety, [I must write] ‘some country’ or ‘M Country’ [when referring to America].”

The blog entry, which appeared to be a work in progress and is no longer online, recycled much of Global Research’s March 4 article, adding screenshots of local news stories about US military personnel in Wuhan for the October military gameswho were hospitalised.

According to Global Research: “The article explains more clearly that the Wuhan version of the virus could have come only from the US because it is what they call a ‘branch’ which could not have been created first because it would have no ‘seed’. It would have to have been a new variety spun off the original ‘trunk’, and that trunk exists only in the US.”

So there it was. A post on “Chinese social media” about “‘foreign’ athletes or other personnel visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games” in October completed the conspiracy’s journey. The fake news world had rewritten the origin of Covid-19: it was not due to a catastrophic natural occurrence somewhere in or around Wuhan, as the world’s scientists believed, but to a bio­weapon brought to Wuhan by the US Army.

At the end of its March 11 article, Global Research returned to January, citing two articles in Science magazine for further “evidence” of its conspiracy – neither of which states the origin of the virus was, as Global Research puts it, “Not in Wuhan” – tying a bow around the package Zhao would soon forward to hundreds of thousands, who would forward it to hundreds of millions.

On the morning of March 13, Zhao tweeted links to the Global Research articles: “This article is very much important to each and every one of us. Please read and retweet it. COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US. It would be useful to read this prior article for background: China’s Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus …”

Followed by:

“Just take a few minutes to read one more article. This is so astonishing that it changed many things I used to believe in. Please retweet to let more people know about it. China’s Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus Originate in the US? – Global Research: The Western media quickly laid out the official narrative for the outbreak of COVID-19 which appeared to have begun in China …”

By late afternoon, the South China Morning Post reported that the hashtag topic "Zhao Lijian sent out five consecutive tweets questioning the US” had been viewed more than 4.7 million times on Weibo. Twelve hours later, The New York Times reported it had been viewed more than 160 million times.

Zhao’s Twitter followers have increased from 287,000 to more than 500,000. Media worldwide carried stories about his tweets, putting them in front of millions more readers, most of whom would never have seen them on Twitter or Weibo. Fake virus news had gone viral.

In October, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence noted in the first line of its report on Russia’s use of social media to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, that “information warfare [is] designed to spread disinformation and societal division”. Zhao’s tweets accom­plished both. The disinformation was obvious. Critical thinking in abeyance, plenty of people will believe a claim that the US Army planted Covid-19 in Wuhan; even more will want it to be true.

When US President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others began fighting back by loudly and repeatedly calling Covid-19 “the Chinese virus”, social division in the US grew, if that is possible. The media accused Trump of being racist and xenophobic, and inciting more of the same towards Chinese-Americans. This only caused Trump to say it louder and more often.

One wonders how much longer Washington will conti­nue fighting the information war against Beijing with one arm tied behind its back. Chinese media enjoy free run of the US, including on Twitter. The US has no such freedom in China.

Not a few pundits in these past few weeks have predicted Covid-19 will end globalisation, or even “life as we know it”. That seems unlikely, given the short-term nature of people’s memories and how profitable “life as we know it” has been for so many. But given the mischief Zhao’s tweets caused, Beijing’s days on Twitter might be numbered.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 22:50
Published:4/4/2020 9:59:43 PM
[topics:places/usa] 'There will be a lot of death': Donald Trump predicts 'toughest' weeks ahead as US coronavirus toll mounts Published:4/4/2020 9:27:21 PM
[Markets] Putin: Oil Glut Is Really About Saudi Desire To Crush US Shale Putin: Oil Glut Is Really About Saudi Desire To Crush US Shale

While it appears an expected emergency virtual OPEC+ meeting planned for Monday has been postponed, pushed back to later in the week to allow more time for negotiations, it's likely that we'll actually see the heated blame-game for the collapse in oil prices ratchet up  and oh, in the meantime oil is set to crater come Monday as the feud is only expected to get uglier. 

Indeed the aggressive war of words has started, with Putin offering a biting Russian narrative aimed at the Saudis in remarks Friday: “It was the pullout by our partners from Saudi Arabia from the OPEC+ deal, their increase in production and their announcement that they were even ready to give discounts on oil” that drove the crash alongside the double-whammy of the coronavirus-driven drop in demand, Putin said according to Bloomberg.

“This was apparently linked to efforts by our partners from Saudi Arabia to eliminate competitors who produce so-called shale oil,” Putin continued. “To do that, the price needs to be below $40 a barrel. And they succeeded in that. But we don’t need that, we never set such a goal.”

Via Daily Mail

Thus in one fell swoop Putin, ironically enough, framed the new 'war on US shale' as in reality a Saudi dirty little secret and motive despite all spin to the contrary, perhaps also seeking to inject division and tension in the close Washington-Riyadh alliance.

Both Russia and the Saudis opened the taps and prices soared following Russia's early March declaration that it would be quitting the OPEC plan to slash output by 1 million bpd, conditioned also on Russia-led non-OPEC countries cutting 500,000 bpd. Moscow reasoned that ultimately US shale-oil producers would be the ones benefiting as they had previously, filling the gaps in earlier curtailments. 

Putin's attack has for the time being had the immediate effect of forcing Riyadh into the awkward position of having to deny it could have been a willing participant in deeper machinations to crush US shale producers in a price war. This as already the steep drop-off in prices have left some US shale producers saying they're ready to initiate voluntary production cuts amid the ballooning oil glut, as the WSJ reported Friday.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan responded to Putin in early Saturday comments, blasting the allegations as “fully devoid of truth.”

“Russia was the one that refused the agreement” the Saudi foreign ministry statement said. “The kingdom and 22 other countries were trying to to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the agreement.”

Energy minister and half-brother of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said something similar, noticeably without taking the shale angle to the Russian accusations head-on.

“The Russian Minister of Energy was first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments,” he said. “This led to the decision by countries to raise their production in order to offset lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns.”

Interestingly, Bloomberg's own summary of the OPEC+ unraveling tacitly admits what few pundits are ready to do, namely that the Saudis for all practical purposes have appeared 'equal partners' in squeezing US shale: "The Saudis, who have ramped up production to a record 12 million barrels a day in the past month and massively discounted the price of their oil, have insisted a new agreement must involve significant contributions from all OPEC+ nations and major producers outside the coalition, including the U.S. and Canada," as the report puts it.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 22:25
Published:4/4/2020 9:27:21 PM
[Politics] USA Today fact-check confirms Obama did not replenish CDC national stockpile of masks USA Today factchecked an article from Daily Wire claiming that the Obama administration neglected to replenish the CDC national stockpile of masks after dipping into it several times during his tenure. During . . . Published:4/4/2020 8:58:08 PM
[World] Teresa Giudice Shares Touching Tributes of Her Father a Day After His Death Teresa Giudice, Dad, Giacinto GorgaFamily is forever. Teresa Giudice is continuing to honor her father Giacinto Gorga--who passed away on Friday morning--with touching tributes on social media. "This is the...
Published:4/4/2020 8:58:08 PM
[Markets] From 'Nightmare' To 'Surprisingly Seamless' - Small Business Owners Describe COVID-19 Bailout Experiences From 'Nightmare' To 'Surprisingly Seamless' - Small Business Owners Describe COVID-19 Bailout Experiences

The Trump administration's $350 billion SBA Paycheck Protection Program was launched on Friday as part of the $2 trillion bailout package, letting small businesses gain access to capital for payroll and other overhead costs.

As we reported on Friday, the rollout went horribly awry for some - with banks such as BofA requiring an existing credit line to qualify, surprising many. JPM delayed the rollout until 1pm, while Wells Fargo and others completely dropped the ball.

That said, it wasn't all bad on Friday - with some business owners such as small business owner Kyle Stewart, who told Bloomberg that the process was "surprisingly seamless" when he applied for a loan to keep his batting-cage and baseball training business afloat.

After spending two hours gathering the payroll and business information required and completing the Paycheck Protection Program application Thursday night, Kyle found uploading the form to the bank’s portal Friday morning was “surprisingly seamless” and automated.

After San Francisco announced a shelter-in-place order on March 16, Stewart told his five hourly workers he wouldn’t be able to pay them going forward. The timing couldn’t have been worse, as his company makes 60% of its profit in the month of March ahead of the baseball season. He’s hoping the loan will help keep them on until the business is able to reopen. -Bloomberg

"We are still stuck on second base with 2 outs in the ninth inning," said Stewart. "Here is to hoping for a clutch hit from the Feds."

Cute.

Others, such as Ohio hair salon owner Clara Osterhage found the process to be a "nightmare." After gathering documents in preparation to be one of the first in line with her application on Friday, she was told by her small regional bank at 11 a.m. that they weren't going to be able to submit applications that day, and that 'even big banks weren't able to do it.'

"This is a nightmare," she said, adding that she doesn't have a clue when she'll gain access to the funds she needs.

"How do I feel? Uncertain with a capital ‘U.'"

Goat's milk soap maker Theresa Richard of Arnaudville, Louisiana was "at a loss" after trying to obtain a loan for her Youngsville store, Bain Amour Bath & Body Co., which has been shut since the state's March 22 stay-at-home order, which has left her lone employee without work.

Richard's local bank, Farmers and Merchants Bank & Trust Co. of Beaux Bridge told her they're still waiting on more information about the program. Her other bank, Chase, sent her an email notifying her that they wouldn't be ready for the program's Friday morning launch.

"Nobody has a real clear idea of what they need in place to start doing the loans," she said.

Community bankers are “rightfully frustrated and, in many cases, livid” after promised online portals never went live on Friday, said Rebeca Romero Rainey, chief executive officer of Independent Community Bankers of America.

It was “a nightmare situation,” Rainey said. “Media reports continue to indicate successful launches through the country by community banks, few of which we have been able to confirm.” -Bloomberg

Robin Schultz, who operates Birmingham, Alabama commercial lighting company Quality Electric, says that despite using the same lender for over two decades that she was surprised to receive an email from them Thursday night notifying her that it hadn't received guidelines from the feds.

After trying to apply at 4 a.m. Friday morning, she received an email around noon to let her know that the site was operational. Moments later, it was down, and she still wasn't able to file paperwork for the loan.

More tales of woe and optimism (via Bloomberg):

‘Eight Weeks Is Ten Years’

Erik Bruun owns SoCo Creamery, an ice cream shop and wholesale supplier in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Foot traffic into his store is slower this time of the year, but is down 60% from where it typically is.

Wholesale ice cream sales, which make up the majority of revenue during the off-season, have completely stopped.

Bruun applied for an emergency loan last week but has yet to hear back. He tried to apply to the paycheck protection program as well, but his local bank told him the application changed and he’d have to wait until they receive instructions to proceed.

The application made it sound like the money would be dispersed in 72 hours. Time is critical right now, and even if his paycheck protection application is approved he’s not sure if the duration will be enough.

“Eight weeks? Eight weeks is ten years right now,” he said. “Eight weeks ago we lived in the allegedly good times. Now we live in the Great Depression.”

One small perk with the lockdown: as people hunker down, pint sales in local grocery stores are up.

‘So Much Confusion’

Wahid Nassar, who runs a restaurant in Highlands, New Jersey, tried going online Friday morning to apply for the loan through his lender, Bank of America, but repeatedly got error messages.

“There’s so much confusion and hard to get a straight answer from anyone right now,” he said.

‘Bringing Hope’

At 9:30 a.m. Friday, the paperwork, so utterly confusing at times, was finally in order for Jason Maxwell. The CEO of MassPay, a payroll and human resources firm that employs 59 people in Beverly, Massachusetts, faxed his application for an SBA loan to his banker in nearby Salem.

Late Thursday, Maxwell was told the federal loan program had tweaked its application. Luckily, Maxwell has a good relationship with his banker, Ed Lomasney, a senior vice president at Salem Five Bank. Lomasney contacted Maxwell, who immediately filled out the new form.

Maxwell has worked with Lomasney for seven years, even switching lenders when the banker relocated to a new financial-services institution three years ago.

“He’s the kind of guy who would knock down doors for us,” Maxwell said of his financial guru, who was too busy Friday with applications to comment.

Maxwell has also been helping other business owners navigate the programs and loans available. He called the owner of his favorite coffee shop, who is not a client, when he heard the man was feeling utterly hopeless, and offered information and advice on how to get some relief.

The programs “are bringing hope to a pretty grim situation,” Maxwell said.

‘Somewhat Optimistic’

Steve Vernetti, owner of Vernetti, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that’s a favorite of Mayor Eric Garcetti, said he had to fill out multiple applications because they kept changing, including as recently as Friday morning.

“It seems like the program is being fleshed out in real-time,” Vernetti said.

Vernetti said his business manager has a close relationship with his bank that’s keeping them in the loop, and that “I can only imagine what the confusion is like for those who don’t have the advantages we have.”

The restaurant owner said he’s been paying his 20 employees for two weeks out of his own pocket but won’t be able to continue. If he gets some confirmation of the SBA funding, he’ll consider opening for pickup and delivery services in two weeks.

“I am starting to see a way through this, and I am feeling somewhat optimistic,” Vernetti said.

Let's see what next week brings in the land of struggling business loans...

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 21:35
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[Markets] Nobody Knows How To Politicize A Pandemic Like Nancy Pelosi Nobody Knows How To Politicize A Pandemic Like Nancy Pelosi

Authored by David Krayden via HumanEvents.com,

The Speaker is using the coronavirus to push through legislation for her very wealthy, very loyal base...

On Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (who, one must remember, holds no elected office at the moment) promised that any further coronavirus legislation might just contain something of “my green deal.” It’s not clear if he was referring to some sort of environmental plan—or how he expects to craft legislation from his basement in Delaware—but even Sleepy Joe seems to think that a global pandemic signals a time for pork-barrel politics.

None among the Democrats has embraced this ethos more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however. As the coronavirus crisis rages on around us, Pelosi is still looking for creative ways to spend your tax dollars.

After failing to stuff the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package with a bevy of her social justice pet projects, Pelosi had the gall to announce that Democrats had made the bill about “workers first.”

“It went from a corporate first proposal that the Republicans put forth in the Senate to a workers first—Democratic workers first—legislation,” said Pelosi, at one of her increasingly bizarre news conferences where the grand dame of Congress appears to be crumbling under the weight of her own rhetoric.

“The bill that was passed in the Senate last night [Wednesday] and that we will take up tomorrow [Friday] is about mitigation: mitigation for all the loss that we have in our economy while still addressing the emergency health needs that we have in our country.”

What the Speaker neglected to mention, however, was how her bill would have forced any airline receiving government bailout money to cut their carbon footprint in half and any business to implement a “diversity plan.” Oh, and she made sure the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts received a handsome handout (note: after they grabbed the $25 million in cash, the management promptly started laying-off musicians).

Now, Pelosi is moving on to “phase four” of the Democrats’ coronavirus rescue package: save the (Democratic) millionaires.

PELOSI WAGES CLASS WARFARE—BUT NOT ON BEHALF OF THE CLASS YOU’D EXPECT

The Pelosi plan would remove a cap on the state and local tax deduction (SALT) that could quickly put cash in people’s pockets—but the beneficiary won’t be average American workers. The beneficiaries will be the real base of the Democratic Party: millionaire liberals from coastal states.

The tax rebates would affect approximately 13 million families—very wealthy families, all of which are earning at least $100,000 and many over a million per annum. “More than half of the proceeds from fully repealing the SALT cap would go to the top 1 percent, households making more than about three-quarters of a million dollars a year,” reports Politico.

To hear Nancy explain the cash infusion, it’s just some extra beer money at the end of the month: “We could reverse that for 2018 and 2019 so that people could refile their taxes” and receive more substantial rebates, Pelosi told The New York Times. “They’d have more disposable income, which is the lifeblood of our economy, a consumer economy that we are.”

The cruel irony of this latest Democratic ploy is that the SALT cap was put in place as part of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts in 2017. Those are the same tax cuts that Pelosi wanted to repeal because, supposedly, only the wealthy would benefit from them.

Democrats have wanted the cap removed for quite some time. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was so angry about it in 2017 that he accused the president of waging “economic civil war” on blue states with the measure. It was a huge issue during the 2018 midterm elections, especially among bleeding heart Democrats fighting for their millionaire friends.

“In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats wielded the SALT limits in House campaigns against Republicans in wealthy blue-state suburbs of cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago,” writes the Times. According to Politico, House Democrats “who made large gains in upscale suburbs as they took the majority in the 2018 elections” voted last year to repeal the cap, but the effort died in the Republican-controlled Senate—“where few states represented by Republicans are all that troubled by the $10,000 limit.”

Removing the SALT cap benefits the people who really embody what Pelosi’s party has become: a coffee clatch of free-thinking progressives who have nothing better to do with their time but think of ways to socially re-engineer the rest of society by obsessing over the LGBT-GQ agenda, inventing genders that don’t exist, and worrying about hate speech lurking under every bed. The kind of people who have the inclination to attend a Seattle yoga class in “undoing whiteness.” The only blue-collar workers they know are the ones who fix the plumbing and pick up the garbage.

“These are people who won’t spend the extra money and don’t really need it,” Michael Linden, executive director of the progressive Groundwork Collaborative, told Politico.

“That’s why they were left out of the cash assistance in the first place.”

But, as Pelosi demonstrated during the last COVID-19 stimulus bill, a health crisis provides a serendipitous opportunity to pass a plethora of unrelated legislation—and Madame Speaker is apparently up to her antics again.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 21:10
Published:4/4/2020 8:26:56 PM
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[World] America the humbled, America the crumbled

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Now? Now it's a different world.

A brave new world.

Now, masked men and women ... Published:4/4/2020 7:55:33 PM

[Markets] Looting Wave Strikes New York City Amid Coronavirus Lockdown Looting Wave Strikes New York City Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

We've been laying out the possible case for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic could be social unrest. 

Millions of Americans have just lost their jobs, have no saving, and insurmountable debts, are flooding food banks across the nation to survive. With the economy crashed and now entering a depression, last week was a significant milestone in the progression of the crisis, as looting of businesses in California and South Carolina began.

Now the looting is spreading across the nation. We noted how stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago, were boarding up their windows, preparing for civil unrest. 

After all, when 10 million people lose their jobs in two weeks, and an estimated unemployment rate that could reach 15-20% in the second quarter, as per RealInvestmentAdvice.com's Lance Roberts latest report, the ripple effect on society is so sudden that there could very well be an outbreak of unrest when the weather shifts too much warmer trends, and geographically be situated in low-income areas of inner cities. Hence why the National Guard was called up and now being positioned around and or in major metros

The beginning innings of social unrest could now be unfolding across New York City. Households are cracking as hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs over several weeks. The city has become the epicenter of the virus crisis, recording 103,060 confirmed cases and 2,935 deaths (as of Saturday afternoon, April 4).  

The Wall Street Journal reports an increase in burglaries of commercial establishments across all five boroughs from March 12-31, coinciding when mass shutdowns went into effect. 

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) recorded a 75% jump in burglaries of businesses during the period, or about 254 burglaries, compared with 145 over the same period last year.

"The increase in burglaries coincided with steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus. On March 15, the city ordered restaurants and bars to cease on-site service, prompting many establishments to close altogether or limit operations. A March 20 decree by Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the closure of all nonessential businesses, leading many retail stores to shutter," the Journal noted. 

"We knew with the closing of many stores that we could see an increase and, unfortunately, we are," said NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri.

LiPetri said the most targeted establishments by criminals had been restaurants, supermarkets, and retail stores. Between March 12-31, there were over 30 reports of burglaries of supermarkets, a 400% increase over the same period last year. 

He said thieves were specifically after food, alcohol, and retail goods. Many gained entry from rooftops and or forcing doors open or breaking windows. 

The Journal notes that some retail chains have boarded up shops across the city, citing fears that social unrest could soon follow. Here are some shops that have already boarded up windows: 

As looting surges in New York City, the next fear is that the NYPD could become overwhelmed by virus-related incidents and or a shortage of officers. 

On Friday, one out of every six NYPD officers was sick or in quarantine. Over 1,500 have tested positive for the virus, which could lead to decreased patrols while crime is surging across the city. 

"It's a worst-case scenario across the board," a sergeant told The New York Times. 

And now it should make sense why President Trump recently signed an executive order to activate up to one million troops – that is because the evolution of the virus crisis and economic collapse, is social unrest and looting and whatever else that may bring

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 20:45
Published:4/4/2020 7:55:33 PM
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The post Captain Crozier Was Right, And His Sailors Knew It appeared first on The American Conservative.

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[Markets] All Trails Lead Back To The Wuhan Bio-Lab All Trails Lead Back To The Wuhan Bio-Lab

Authored by Jim Geraghty via NationalReview.com,

There’s no proof the coronavirus accidentally escaped from a laboratory, but we can’t take the Chinese government’s denials at face value.

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that he presents, obtained from public records posted on the Internet, checks out.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China indeed posted a job opening on November 18, 2019, “asking for scientists to come research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats.”

The Google translation of the job posting is: “Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexist with Ebola and SARS- associated coronavirus for a long time without disease, and its relationship with flight and longevity. Virology, immunology, cell biology, and multiple omics are used to compare the differences between humans and other mammals.” (“Omics” is a term for a subfield within biology, such as genomics or glycomics.)

On December 24, 2019, the Wuhan Institute of Virology posted a second job posting. The translation of that posting includes the declaration, “long-term research on the pathogenic biology of bats carrying important viruses has confirmed the origin of bats of major new human and livestock infectious diseases such as SARS and SADS, and a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.”

Tye contends that that posting meant, “we’ve discovered a new and terrible virus, and would like to recruit people to come deal with it.” He also contends that “news didn’t come out about coronavirus until ages after that.” Doctors in Wuhan knew that they were dealing with a cluster of pneumonia cases as December progressed, but it is accurate to say that a very limited number of people knew about this particular strain of coronavirus and its severity at the time of that job posting. By December 31, about three weeks after doctors first noticed the cases, the Chinese government notified the World Health Organization and the first media reports about a “mystery pneumonia” appeared outside China.

Scientific American verifies much of the information Tye mentions about Shi Zhengli, the Chinese virologist nicknamed “Bat Woman” for her work with that species.

Shi — a virologist who is often called China’s “bat woman” by her colleagues because of her virus-hunting expeditions in bat caves over the past 16 years — walked out of the conference she was attending in Shanghai and hopped on the next train back to Wuhan. “I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong,” she says. “I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China.” Her studies had shown that the southern, subtropical areas of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan have the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals — particularly bats, a known reservoir for many viruses. If coronaviruses were the culprit, she remembers thinking, “could they have come from our lab?”

. . . By January 7 the Wuhan team determined that the new virus had indeed caused the disease those patients suffered — a conclusion based on results from polymerase chain reaction analysis, full genome sequencing, antibody tests of blood samples and the virus’s ability to infect human lung cells in a petri dish. The genomic sequence of the virus — now officially called SARS-CoV-2 because it is related to the SARS pathogen — was 96 percent identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan, they reported in a paper published last month in Nature. “It’s crystal clear that bats, once again, are the natural reservoir,” says Daszak, who was not involved in the study.

Some scientists aren’t convinced that the virus jumped straight from bats to human beings, but there are a few problems with the theory that some other animal was an intermediate transmitter of COVID-19 from bats to humans:

Analyses of the SARS-CoV-2 genome indicate a single spillover event, meaning the virus jumped only once from an animal to a person, which makes it likely that the virus was circulating among people before December. Unless more information about the animals at the Wuhan market is released, the transmission chain may never be clear. There are, however, numerous possibilities. A bat hunter or a wildlife trafficker might have brought the virus to the market. Pangolins happen to carry a coronavirus, which they might have picked up from bats years ago, and which is, in one crucial part of its genome, virtually identical to SARS-CoV-2. But no one has yet found evidence that pangolins were at the Wuhan market, or even that venders there trafficked pangolins.

On February 4 — one week before the World Health Organization decided to officially name this virus “COVID-19” — the journal Cell Research posted a notice written by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology about the virus, concluding, “our findings reveal that remdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro. Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease.” One of the authors of that notice was the “bat woman,” Shi Zhengli.

In his YouTube video, Tye focuses his attention on a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology named Huang Yanling: “Most people believe her to be patient zero, and most people believe she is dead.”

There was enough discussion of rumors about Huang Yanling online in China to spur an official denial. On February 16, the Wuhan Institute of Virology denied that patient zero was one of their employees, and interestingly named her specifically: “Recently there has been fake information about Huang Yanling, a graduate from our institute, claiming that she was patient zero in the novel coronavirus.” Press accounts quote the institute as saying, “Huang was a graduate student at the institute until 2015, when she left the province and had not returned since. Huang was in good health and had not been diagnosed with disease, it added.” None of her publicly available research papers are dated after 2015.

The web page for the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Lab of Diagnostic Microbiology does indeed still have “Huang Yanling” listed as a 2012 graduate student, and her picture and biography appear to have been recently removed — as have those of two other graduate students from 2013, Wang Mengyue and Wei Cuihua.

Her name still has a hyperlink, but the linked page is blank. The pages for Wang Mengyue and Wei Cuihua are blank as well.

(For what it is worth, the South China Morning Post — a newspaper seen as being generally pro-Beijing — reported on March 13 that “according to the government data seen by the Post, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.”)

On February 17, Zhen Shuji, a Hong Kong correspondent from the French public-radio service Radio France Internationale, reported: “when a reporter from the Beijing News of the Mainland asked the institute for rumors about patient zero, the institute first denied that there was a researcher Huang Yanling, but after learning that the name of the person on the Internet did exist, acknowledged that the person had worked at the firm but has now left the office and is unaccounted for.”

Tye says, “everyone on the Chinese internet is searching for [Huang Yanling] but most believe that her body was quickly cremated and the people working at the crematorium were perhaps infected as they were not given any information about the virus.” (The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that handling the body of someone who has died of coronavirus is safe — including embalming and cremation — as long as the standard safety protocols for handing a decedent are used. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether those safety protocols were sufficiently used in China before the outbreak’s scope was known.)

As Tye observes, a public appearance by Huang Yanling would dispel a lot of the public rumors, and is the sort of thing the Chinese government would quickly arrange in normal circumstances — presuming that Huang Yanling was still alive. Several officials at the Wuhan Institute of Virology issued public statements that Huang was in good health and that no one at the institute has been infected with COVID-19. In any case, the mystery around Huang Yanling may be moot, but it does point to the lab covering up something about her.

China Global Television Network, a state-owned television broadcaster, illuminated another rumor while attempting to dispel it in a February 23 report entitled “Rumors Stop With the Wise”:

On February 17, a Weibo user who claimed herself to be Chen Quanjiao, a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reported to the public that the Director of the Institute was responsible for leaking the novel coronavirus. The Weibo post threw a bomb in the cyberspace and the public was shocked. Soon Chen herself stepped out and declared that she had never released any report information and expressed great indignation at such identity fraud on Weibo. It has been confirmed that that particular Weibo account had been shut down several times due to the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.

That Radio France Internationale report on February 17 also mentioned the next key part of the Tye’s YouTube video. “Xiaobo Tao, a scholar from South China University of Technology, recently published a report that researchers at Wuhan Virus Laboratory were splashed with bat blood and urine, and then quarantined for 14 days.” HK01, another Hong Kong-based news site, reported the same claim.

This doctor’s name is spelled in English as both “Xiaobo Tao” and “Botao Xiao.” From 2011 to 2013, Botao Xiao was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and his biography is still on the web site of the South China University of Technology.

At some point in February, Botao Xiao posted a research paper onto ResearchGate.net, “The Possible Origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.” He is listed as one author, along with Lei Xiao from Tian You Hospital, which is affiliated with the Wuhan University of Science and Technology. The paper was removed a short time after it was posted, but archived images of its pages can be found here and here.

The first conclusion of Botao Xiao’s paper is that the bats suspected of carrying the virus are extremely unlikely to be found naturally in the city, and despite the stories of “bat soup,” they conclude that bats were not sold at the market and were unlikely to be deliberately ingested.

The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan [area] of ~15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization could not confirm if bats were present at the market. Botao Xiao’s paper theorizes that the coronavirus originated from bats being used for research at either one of two research laboratories in Wuhan.

We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus. Within ~ 280 meters from the market, there was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention. WHCDC hosted animals in laboratories for research purpose, one of which was specialized in pathogens collection and identification. In one of their studies, 155 bats including Rhinolophus affinis were captured in Hubei province, and other 450 bats were captured in Zhejiang province. The expert in Collection was noted in the Author Contributions (JHT). Moreover, he was broadcasted for collecting viruses on nation-wide newspapers and websites in 2017 and 2019. He described that he was once by attacked by bats and the blood of a bat shot on his skin. He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14 days. In another accident, he quarantined himself again because bats peed on him.

Surgery was performed on the caged animals and the tissue samples were collected for DNA and RNA extraction and sequencing. The tissue samples and contaminated trashes were source of pathogens. They were only ~280 meters from the seafood market. The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital (Figure 1, bottom) where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic. It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study.

The second laboratory was ~12 kilometers from the seafood market and belonged to Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences . . .

In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.

However, Xiao has told the Wall Street Journal that he has withdrawn his paper. “The speculation about the possible origins in the post was based on published papers and media, and was not supported by direct proofs,” he said in a brief email on February 26.

The bat researcher that Xiao’s report refers to is virologist Tian Junhua, who works at the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control. In 2004, the World Health Organization determined that an outbreak of the SARS virus had been caused by two separate leaks at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing. The Chinese government said that the leaks were a result of “negligence” and the responsible officials had been punished.

In 2017, the Chinese state-owned Shanghai Media Group made a seven-minute documentary about Tian Junhua, entitled “Youth in the Wild: Invisible Defender.” Videographers followed Tian Junhua as he traveled deep into caves to collect bats.

“Among all known creatures, the bats are rich with various viruses inside,” he says in Chinese.

“You can find most viruses responsible for human diseases, like rabies virus, SARS, and Ebola. Accordingly, the caves frequented by bats became our main battlefields.” He emphasizes, “bats usually live in caves humans can hardly reach. Only in these places can we find the most ideal virus vector samples.”

One of his last statements on the video is:

“In the past ten-plus years, we have visited every corner of Hubei Province. We explored dozens of undeveloped caves and studied more than 300 types of virus vectors. But I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life. Because humans need not only the vaccines, but also the protection from the nature.”

The description of Tian Junhua’s self-isolation came from a May 2017 report by Xinhua News Agency, repeated by the Chinese news site JQKNews.com:

The environment for collecting bat samples is extremely bad. There is a stench in the bat cave. Bats carry a large number of viruses in their bodies. If they are not careful, they are at risk of infection. But Tian Junhua is not afraid to go to the mountain with his wife to catch Batman.

Tian Junhua summed up the experience that the most bats can be caught by using the sky cannon and pulling the net. But in the process of operation, Tian Junhua forgot to take protective measures. Bat urine dripped on him like raindrops from the top. If he was infected, he could not find any medicine. It was written in the report.

The wings of bats carry sharp claws. When the big bats are caught by bat tools, they can easily spray blood. Several times bat blood was sprayed directly on Tians skin, but he didn’t flinch at all. After returning home, Tian Junhua took the initiative to isolate for half a month. As long as the incubation period of 14 days does not occur, he will be lucky to escape, the report said.

Bat urine and blood can carry viruses. How likely is it that bat urine or blood got onto a researcher at either Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention or the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Alternatively, what are the odds that some sort of medical waste or other material from the bats was not properly disposed of, and that was the initial transmission vector to a human being?

Virologists have been vehemently skeptical of the theory that COVID-19 was engineered or deliberately constructed in a laboratory; the director of the National Institutes of Health has written that recent genomic research “debunks such claims by providing scientific evidence that this novel coronavirus arose naturally.” And none of the above is definitive proof that COVID-19 originated from a bat at either the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention or the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Definitive proof would require much broader access to information about what happened in those facilities in the time period before the epidemic in the city.

But it is a remarkable coincidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was researching Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses in bats before the pandemic outbreak, and that in the month when Wuhan doctors were treating the first patients of COVID-19, the institute announced in a hiring notice that “a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.” And the fact that the Chinese government spent six weeks insisting that COVID-19 could not be spread from person to person means that its denials about Wuhan laboratories cannot be accepted without independent verification.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 20:20
Published:4/4/2020 7:30:44 PM
[Markets] ‘We have to open our country again,’ says Trump, showing impatience with stay-home orders President Donald Trump on Saturday showed impatience with stay home orders, and said ‘we have to open our country again’
Published:4/4/2020 7:30:44 PM
[] Gabriel Malor reads the fine print in all those stories about Republican governors not issuing stay-at-home orders Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Opinion] Coronavirus Community Tracing the Key to Get America back to Work

By Blue Agent007 -

CBSN Boston  – Massachusetts is stepping up its efforts to trace cases of the Coronavirus with a first-in-the-nation tracking initiative. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that a COVID-19 community tracing collaborative between the state and the nonprofit Partners In Health will be up and running by the end of ...

Coronavirus Community Tracing the Key to Get America back to Work is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Uncategorized] Trump is accused of downplaying the coronavirus risk by the very media who mocked government and ‘right-wing’ concerns The internet is forever. Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Markets] Stock market is headed for choppy waters amid worries that a return to normal will elude the U.S. economy In some corners of Wall Street, investors are casting doubt on the notion that the economy will switch back to high gear after the coronavirus pandemic passes. Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Markets] Nary a sign of discord even as China rebuts accusations of a tepid stimulus response Top central bank advisers are even debating whether China should set a GDP target at all as analysts lower 2020 growth estimates.
Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Markets] "Medical Supply Arbitrage": How Hordes Of Middle Men, Profiteers & Scammers Massively Inflated Prices Of N95s "Medical Supply Arbitrage": How Hordes Of Middle Men, Profiteers & Scammers Massively Inflated Prices Of N95s

Americans hear it every day now during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefings. In the middle of a crushing pandemic, New York and other states are being grossly gouged as they shop around for medical supplies. With most of their regular relationships exhausted, states are competing against each other, a nonsensical and costly "bidding war" that Cuomo has blamed on President Trump.

N95 masks, which are now among the most prized commodities on the planet, are in such short supply, that some hospitals in NYC simply don't have them to provide to workers, forcing them to improvise. Cuomo says masks that recently cost just 40 or 50 cents are now being sold for $7 a pop, a roughly 13x markup.

While the administration's failure to better prepare for the epidemic certainly hasn't helped, the New York Times on Friday pointed out another, bigger factor that's greatly contributed to this problem. Complex globalized supply chains have been disrupted by the outbreak, and with production largely centered in China, producers are effectively using the masks as political chits: Beijing has given them to Italy, and the UK - and even a few to the US.

But beyond that, the chaos caused by the outbreak caused such a mad scramble to buy up these supplies, that brokers are selling them at crazy markups, many because they bought them at already-crazy markups, and are now either trying to make a sliver of profit, or just break even. Even wannabe 'Good Samaritans' have fallen prey to this cycle, as the dogooders ask simply to be reimbursed for their costs, or just accept that they will lose money, which is hard to do during a time of looming economic catastrophe. At a certain point, it almost becomes difficult to differentiate the scammers from the do-gooders.

Others are exploiting relationships to act as 'brokers', middle-manning N95 masks and other supplies - the masks especially will become even more scarce and costly once the White House and CDC inevitably advise people to wear them in public - for modest profits.

Rampant crisis profiteering has already been well-documented by the press, as have the efforts by states and the federal government to police it. Earlier this week, AG Barr got up at the White House's daily press conference and warned that federal prosecutors would be cracking down. And many have been publicly shamed.

But even as Amazon bans the sale of masks to the general public, next-level 'brokers' are using the power of the internet to deal with hospital systems and other health-care providers who have essentially been forced to participate in the shadowy grey market to acquire essential supplies at a time when people's lives - even the lives of young, healthy people - are very much on the line.

One of the details that most stood out to us in Friday's New York Times story was the description of the practice as "medical supply arbitrage." Here's how it works, according to NYT:

Not every new entrant to the market is a good Samaritan. Groups on Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram are teeming with posts hawking thousands of masks at inflated prices.

Some are wholesalers who bought pallets of masks from China or in liquidation sales and then marked them up. Many more are simply middlemen who call themselves brokers. They scour the groups for masks advertised for a relatively low price, and then repost the offer for a few thousand dollars more. They don’t handle the masks or put up their own money.

Yaear Weintroub is one of those brokers. A 22-year-old community college student from Brooklyn, he typically sells wholesale electronics to Amazon sellers. But the online forums he searches for deals became flooded with listings for masks last month, so he now spends his days trying to connect buyers and sellers for a bit of medical-supply arbitrage.

In a recent interview, he said he was working with a partner to close a deal for 280,000 surgical masks that would increase their price 20 percent and net the pair a roughly $40,000 profit. He said many of the brokers sold to other brokers, each one marking up the price, until the masks presumably make it to a nursing home or a hospital. He said he would prefer to sell directly to hospitals.

"They’re just more serious," he said. "So if I have the goods, I want a serious buyer for them. And besides, it’s a morally good reason."

To these sellers, medical supplies are simply another hot product to flip for a profit. Avraham Eisenberg, a New York wholesaler who is trying to ship masks from China, compared the rush for masks to the fad several years ago for fidget spinners.

As prosecutors crack down on re-sellers of medical supplies, the line between what constitutes 'gouging' and simple sales of products that aren't illegal to sell to the general public is becoming more difficult to discern. Barr's press conference appearance aside, last month, the DoJ said it would investigate people manipulating the medical-supply market. Then, five days later, federal authorities charged a Brooklyn man with lying about price gouging after he tried to sell 1,000 masks and other supplies to a doctor for $12,000 (he was also charged with assault for coughing on one of the agents).

It might still be legal, but anybody who's still doing this should watch their backs.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 19:55
Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[] Saturday Evening Movie Thread 04-04-2020 [TheJamesMadison] The Ace of Spades Saturday Evening Movie Thread Best Movie of the Year Goes to? Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, the love letter to 1969 Hollywood and hippy punching from Quentin Tarantino. I called Mr. Tarantino on his... Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[] Those warnings about the COVID relief bill raising unemployment are looking prescient Published:4/4/2020 6:20:32 PM
[] Reporter seems upset that President Trump keeps promoting a drug that 'has not been FDA-approved' to treat COVID-19 Published:4/4/2020 6:20:32 PM
[worldNews] French coronavirus death toll hits new high as nursing home tally swells The total number of deaths from the coronavirus in France reached a new high on Saturday as the government included more previously unreported deaths in nursing homes.
Published:4/4/2020 6:20:32 PM
[Entertainment] 20 Fascinating Facts About Pink P!nk, Alecia MooreIt's been 20 years since we first met Pink. When her debut album Can't Take Me Home arrived on the scene on April 4, 2000, it heralded the arrival of pop music's biggest...
Published:4/4/2020 6:20:32 PM
[Entertainment] Miley Cyrus and Cody Simpson Deliver Tacos to Healthcare Workers Miley Cyrus, Cody Simpson, Coronavirus, Healthcare Workers, Tacos, InstagramMiley Cyrus and boyfriend Cody Simpson are showing their appreciation for some of the heroes working to save lives while on the front line of coronavirus pandemic, with a tasty meal. On...
Published:4/4/2020 5:55:23 PM
[Entertainment] Philip Roth’s epidemic and ours His polio novel, ‘Nemesis,’ is a psychic map to our current struggle with coronavirus. Published:4/4/2020 5:55:23 PM
[Markets] What Will The Future Bring? Here's How To Survive The Uncertainty What Will The Future Bring? Here's How To Survive The Uncertainty

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

We live in a very different world than we did back in January when the calendar turned to 2020 and everyone was anticipating the great things they’d accomplish in the brand new decade.

Only 3 months ago, we all had futures we imagined…

  • Kids graduating from high school or college

  • A vacation we were planning

  • A new job we were striving toward

  • Retirement so close you could practically smell the beach where you’d spend your golden years

  • The health and fitness goal you were finally going to achieve

  • A positive lifestyle change you were planning to make

  • A relocation to a new destination

  • The advancement of your relationship, whether it was a new one or one you’d been in for a while

  • A summer road trip

  • Getting a new pet

  • An empty nest and what you were going to do with that newly vacant bedroom

  • A new family member

Three months ago, we all had dreams, goals for the future, or at least some idea of what the upcoming year would hold for us.

I’ll bet none of us even considered on New Year’s Eve that we’d spend the first half (at least) of the year dealing with a deadly pandemic. Heck, I sat on a balcony in a little seaside village in Montenegro, toasting the new decade with a friend and some Jack Daniels, watching fireworks over the Adriatic Sea, and planning what European destination I’d be heading to next.

It probably never crossed anyone’s mind that there’d be some crazy new virus that nobody had ever heard of which would leave us under the equivalent of house arrest for months. Few of us imagined that suddenly, over the course of just a few weeks, more than ten million Americans would suddenly become unemployed.

Dreams have been shattered.

Goals have been put aside.

Lives have been lost.

Everything has changed.

And nobody knows what the future will hold.

A lot of the things we do know are horrible.

How utterly terrifying to know that we’re all likely to lose somebody we love to this virus or to a medical condition that would have been survivable if the local hospital hadn’t been overflowing with COVID patients.

We know there’s nary a roll of toilet paper to be found in a huge swath of the United States. We know that our supply chain, if not broken, is at the least, badly bruised. We know that if a person we love goes into the hospital with COVID-19, there’s a frighteningly large chance they may never come out again unless it’s in a body bag. We know that medical professionals in New York City don’t even have personal protective equipment to keep themselves healthy while they try to keep people alive. We know that yesterday in the state of New York, 23 people died every hour of the day from the coronavirus that has destroyed the world as we know it.

We nearly all know people who have been laid off. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s you. And if you haven’t yet lost your job, are you waiting for that hammer to drop? We all know of businesses that aren’t going to make it through months of this shutdown.

We know people who couldn’t pay their rent this month. We know people who pulled it together this month but won’t be able to pay May’s rent if this lockdown should continue. We know it’s so bad that the government has said landlords can’t evict tenants in many states – which means the landlords may not be able to pay their mortgages.

We may not know much right now, but we know that the economy is a f*cking disaster.

And we have no idea when this current purgatory will end.

The uncertainty is one of the hardest parts.

The advent of COVID-19 has changed our lives so much that none of us has any idea what the future will bring. Whereas before we’d be thinking about our summer plans, perhaps a holiday at the beach or a camp for the kids, now we don’t know if we’ll even be able to leave our homes by the time summer rolls around.

How absolutely bizarre to have no idea what our worlds will look like in 3 months.

My family, so far, is blessedly healthy, a fact for which I give thanks every day. But it’s become difficult to think of much beyond that. We don’t know if my one daughter’s plan to relocate to another state for an opportunity will still be available. We don’t know if my other daughter’s workplace will reopen. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to head back to Europe and continue my long-awaited trip around the world.

When the lease is up at my daughter’s apartment, we don’t know where we’ll go because we don’t know what the world will look like then. Will we need to tap into those homesteading skills we learned back in California? If so, we sure can’t do it from where we live right now. Where will we go?

Will running a business online still even be a possibility at the end of this? Everything…every single thing…is in question.

All of us have some variation of these same questions running through our heads right now. It’s pretty hard to plan when you don’t know if the post-COVID world is going to look more like Mad Max, The Walking Dead, or Little House on the Prairie. Or maybe it’ll be a lot like the pre-COVID world, only with more money problems.

It’s hard to figure out your plan when you have no idea what post-apocalyptic world you’re going to end up in. So how do you keep from going nuts? How do you find some peace in a world with so much uncertainty?

How to survive in a world of uncertainty

The word “survive” may sound melodramatic, but for a lot of people who are finding themselves living with broken dreams, for those who have vulnerable loved ones, for those living with sudden financial uncertainty, and for those who are sacrificing time and contact with loved ones due to their own exposure to the virus, it fits the bill right now. No, we may not die from this but when your peace of mind suffers, it can be a real struggle.

Below are some ideas that may help you to get through this if you’re struggling.

Make plans every day. While you can’t really make plans for 6 months down the road, you can make plans for the day or even the week. Create a schedule for yourself. Don’t just lay there on the sofa watching Netflix and Amazon Prime all day long. It’s not good for you. Get up and get dressed (not necessarily office-dressed but don’t wear the same thing to live in and sleep in for three days in a row.) Figure out what nutrient-rich meals you’re going to make that day. Think about how you’ll exercise – will it be a walk with the dogs around the neighborhood or will you go to a nearby hiking trail? What work do you need to get accomplished? What room are you going to deep clean? Write it all down on a whiteboard or a piece of paper on the fridge so everybody knows what’s on the day’s agenda.

Don’t lay around watching television all day. Set yourself a time at which you’ll watch a movie or show online. I’ve worked from home for years, and one rule I’ve held for myself throughout it is that we don’t turn on Netflix until it’s getting dark.  That means in the summer, it’s later because we can spend time doing things outdoors during the nice weather. With us being home all the time now, I’ve relaxed that rule slightly to 6 pm. But if you start watching while you have lunch it’s way to easy to get sucked into a series and the next thing you know, it’s bedtime and you never accomplished anything. This isn’t healthy mentally or physically so I strongly advise that if you are a television viewer or a person who likes to stream shows you limit this to evenings.

Prepare for what you can. We all know that we need to prep with the basics of food, water, seeds, tools, and the like. This doesn’t really change, regardless of what the future holds. So keep doing what you can to build up supplies and skills. A lot of things are out of our hands but you can control what is within your power.

Don’t consume a constant diet of bad news. I spend a lot of time researching this virus, the effects on our economy, how it has decimated other parts of the world, reading the heartbreaking stories of loss. I’ve been doing this since January 20th, when it first really appeared on my radar. I do not advise it to anyone. It can be hard to see the light when you spend your time delving into the darkness. I’ve been doing this for years and can compartmentalize to some degree, but this has been a long haul. Limit the amount of time you spend reading about this outbreak and the difficulties surrounding it. Unless your job depends on you knowing every detail about COVID-19 and it’s effect on the world, you can stay informed reading about it for 30 minutes a day instead of 6 hours a day. Trust me when I say this: your outlook will become much brighter when your day is not filled by press conferences, the follies of incompetent government officials, and stories of suffering.

Enjoy making healthful, home-cooked meals. Remember all those times you said you didn’t have time to cook? Now, if you’re currently out of work, you finally have time to cook. Don’t just heat up frozen pizza after frozen pizza! Get in that kitchen and whip up all those tasty delights you’ve wanted to make for years. Learn to bake bread if you don’t know how to do so. Cook things that take half a day to prepare. Make every tiny detail from scratch. Set the table with the nice china and give your food the showcase it deserves.

Work on some projects you never had time to do before. What projects have you always put off because you didn’t have the time? We’re currently converting a storage room in my daughter’s small apartment into a second bedroom since it looks like I’m going to be here for a while. We’ve been going through the boxes of our past and enjoying the walk down memory lane. I’m finally getting all this stuff into scrapbooks. We’re devising clever storage methods and purging things we don’t need. Soon we’ll have an adorable tiny room off the laundry room for some much needed extra space. After that, we’re building some shelves with curtains in front of them for the kitchen to put away our canned and boxed goods, hidden from prying eyes. We also each have some craft projects on the go for entertainment because productive hobbies are always a great idea.

Spend time outdoors. If your municipality allows it, spend some time outdoors. You can still be socially distant while getting fresh air. Avoid the clusters of humans and walk the challenging trails at your local hiking place. Or go early in the day while everybody else is still sleeping in. Getting some fresh air, exercise, and sunshine is healthy for both your body and your mind. If you can’t go out for a walk, at the very least, sit on your balcony or patio and read for a while.

Find something to be thankful for as often as possible. An attitude of gratitude makes tough times easier to stomach. Even now, there are things for which we can be grateful. I am spending time with my daughter and talking regularly on the phone to my other daughter. I am enjoying the blossoming of the spring flowers – always a favorite time of year for me. I am grateful that for now, I still have work online. I’m grateful my daughter is no longer working in retail during this outbreak and that she’s safely home. I’m grateful I have the time to cook delicious meals, experience my daughter’s cooking (she’s really good at it), and spend some bonus time with her. We have two dogs to walk and two cats to cuddle. Life could be much, much worse so take a moment to appreciate what you have right now.

Find something to anticipate. As we talked about before, we live in a period of extreme uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find anything to anticipate. I’m looking forward to the new room we’re setting up this week. I’m looking forward to a movie we plan to watch this weekend when all our tasks are done. I’m even looking forward to organizing the kitchen because that will be such a satisfying task. I also have a book on Kindle I plan to read on my birthday that is coming up. I noticed that daffodils are poking their heads through in the front yard and I can’t wait to see how the place looks when there are sunny yellow flowers everywhere. My homesteader friends back in California are filling my social media feeds with baby goats and baby chicks and I’m counting down the days until a friend’s baby is born.

Sure, these things are short term, and some of them aren’t even my things, but right now, the short term is all we have. Take the joy that’s there. Find things that will occur within the week and don’t look too far in advance.

Stop focusing on things going back to “normal.”

We’d all like to think that one day this will suddenly be over. The kids will return to school. We’ll go back to our offices and our commutes. We won’t be struggling over money anymore. Life will return to the pre-COVID days.

But is this the healthiest way to look at the situation?

Spending all your time looking forward to the day when this is over is an exercise in frustration because nobody knows when that will be. And more than that, nobody knows what “normal” is going to look like when all the lockdowns are over. A lot of things will never be the same.

You can help yourself by learning to adapt now to changed circumstances. This will help you learn to live with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Major events are bound to cause major and long-lasting changes. This has happened throughout history.

In reality, the things we’re experiencing right now, while not necessarily easy, aren’t so bad. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but eventually, some form of “better” will come.

Your ability to adapt is indicative of your ability to survive. So let’s get through this lockdown and keep our mindsets positive.  Let’s get through the part that comes next.

Then, eventually, we’ll come out on the other side, ready to tackle the new normal, whatever that ends up being like.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 18:45
Published:4/4/2020 5:55:23 PM
[worldNews] Show typical British resolve, Queen to tell nation amid coronavirus outbreak Queen Elizabeth will call on Britons to show the same resolve as their forebears and take on the challenge and disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak with good-humoured resolve when she makes an extremely rare address to rally the nation on Sunday.
Published:4/4/2020 5:23:42 PM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Eugene Volokh] Liberty of Movement and Assembly when everyone is potentially lethal to others, without any individual choice on anyone's part. Published:4/4/2020 5:23:42 PM
[Uncategorized] Pelosi, Trump Clash Over Democrat Push For Mail-in Voting Trump: "No because I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting." Published:4/4/2020 5:23:42 PM
[aa47cc6b-3774-5061-8efd-4e8107f11065] Sean Hannity: Cuomo failed to prepare for coronavirus but keeps wrongly blaming Trump and others Despite the Trump administration taking bold and unprecedented action to deliver needed aid to the coronavirus-infected epicenter of New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to deflect blame, lash out, and blame anyone and everyone but himself for his state’s failure to properly prepare for a coming pandemic. Published:4/4/2020 5:23:42 PM
[Markets] Police App Encourages People To Report Neighbors Who Violate Stay-At-Home Orders Police App Encourages People To Report Neighbors Who Violate Stay-At-Home Orders

Via MassPrivateI blog,

How do you encourage people to turn against each other during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The answer is not that complicated, especially if you live in the City of Bellevue, Washington.

Four years ago, when the city created the MyBellvue app, it was touted as being a quick and easy way to report things like downed street signs, potholes, street light issues and noise complaints.

Fast forward to 2020 and public fears of COVID-19 have encouraged law enforcement to turn neighbors into government snitches.

Geekwire revealed how the Bellevue Police Department has turned a public service app into a report on your neighbors app.  You can report these incidents through the MyBellevue app on your electronic device or the MyBellevue portal.

"Police in Bellevue, Wash., are asking residents to report violations of the state’s “stay home” order online in an effort to clear up 911 lines for emergencies."

A recent Associated Press article revealed that people are all to happy to report on their neighbors.

"Snitches are emerging as enthusiastic allies as cities, states and countries work to enforce directives meant to limit person-to-person contact amid the virus pandemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide. They’re phoning police and municipal hotlines, complaining to elected officials and shaming perceived scofflaws on social media."

LA Mayor Offers Snitches Rewards For Reporting On Neighbors

According to a CBS LA4 article Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would reward snitches.

Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney’s office for misdemeanor filings.

“You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards,” Garcetti said. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.”

When law enforcement encourages Americans to turn against each other we all lose. We become a nation controlled by fear.

"Suspected violations are tracked in the MyBellevue app and generate a heat map that shows where gatherings have been reported. The map shows hot spots of activity throughout the City of Bellevue, which is about 10 miles from Seattle.

The Bellevue Police Departments' MyBellevue page claims police need the public's help monitoring their neighbors.

“The vast majority of people in our community are following the "Stay Home" order and are being safe,” said Chief Steve Mylett. “But we need your help in reporting violations where there may be a large amount of people at risk.” 

The MyBellevue customer assistance portal spells out exactly what this is app is really meant for now.

  • Report Gatherings: You may report gatherings here in violation of the State mandate to "Stay Home"

  • Contact Your Police Sector Captain: Got an issue affecting your neighborhood? Contact the sector captain for your area! A captain is assigned to each of three geographical sectors -- North, South and West -- and is ultimately responsible for issues taking place in their sector. 

When city services apps get turned into a glorified version of DHS's "If See Something, Say Something" we all lose. As Geekwire notes,

“Sometimes there is a need to implement extreme measures but often these crises are used as justification to implement surveillance and data collection measures for purposes beyond that crisis,” the ACLU of Washington’s Jennifer Lee said.

Reporting on your neighbor apps fly in the face of the freedoms Americans have enjoyed for centuries.

The MyBellevue mobile app can be found at the Apple store and Google Play store. Two recent reviews spell out how everyone should view apps that encourage Americans to report on each other.

Leo Rosas said, 

start sarcasm "Yes daddy, step on me harder, oh yes take my constitutionally protected rights away!* end. YOU SOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES! tell on your neighbors for leaving their house is BS you have no clue where they are going or for what. Since no crime has been committed in traveling, the police have no right to know where you go or why. There is no right to Abridge constitutionally protected free travel! Y'all were sworn to protect and uphold the constitution, covid doesn't change that."

Matthew Harphan said,

"I bet Hitler is rolling in his grave, super Jealous of your app used to violate civil rights through unconstitutional enforcement during Corona virus. You swore an Oath to Uphold and Defend the Constitution.. this is pathetic. I expect better from police. Despicable"

Now is the time to fight for our freedoms before a panicked nation willingly gives them away.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 18:05
Published:4/4/2020 5:23:42 PM
[] Dr. Birx to CNN reporter: Keep the politics out of it, buddy Published:4/4/2020 4:54:16 PM
[Entertainment] Bad Bunny Surprise Releases a New Song Featuring... His Girlfriend Bad Bunny, Gabriella BerlingeriMusic and lyrics... and love! Bad Bunny keeps blessing his fans with music that will keep everyone entertained during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. If anything, the Puerto Rican star...
Published:4/4/2020 4:54:16 PM
[Markets] UN Blasted As "Absurd & Immoral" For Appointing China To Key UN Human Rights Panel UN Blasted As "Absurd & Immoral" For Appointing China To Key UN Human Rights Panel

In what will no doubt be taken as a direct shot across the Trump administration's bow, China has been appointed to a key United Nations human rights post. 

Fox reports on Saturday: "China has been appointed to a panel on the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council, where it will help vet candidates for important posts — despite its decades-long record of systematic human rights abuse that the U.S. has said fueled the coronavirus pandemic."

UN file image

The timing couldn't be worse, given the soaring tensions and weeks-long war of words between US and Chinese officials, both floating bombastic charges against the other of intentionally spreading COVID-19. 

President Trump has even taken to calling the deadly virus the "Chinese virus" - given as he said last month: "It could have been contained to that one area in China where it started." He followed at the time by saying of China "certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did."

Jiang Duan, minister at the Chinese Mission in Geneva, will represent Beijing on the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Consultative Group, alongside four other international representatives. 

A Geneva-based human rights watchdog called UN Watch, meanwhile, slammed the development as “absurd and immoral” for the UN to allow China to have a hand in selecting human rights officials for the top body.

“Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief,” UN Watch said in a statement, according to FOX.

The Human Rights Council, itself long subject of controversy - especially after the Saudis recently occupied a top spot on the bloc - examines freedom of speech, war crimes, and disappeared persons issues around the world.

The central irony is that China - itself long documented to have an extensive 'political prison' system and with more recent charges of "disappearing" doctors and scientists who have tried to blow the whistle over its COVID-19 response - will now have a key role in selecting the top human rights body's make-up.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 17:45
Published:4/4/2020 4:54:16 PM
[Politics] Report: Andrew Cuomo Supporters Touting Him as Biden 2020 VP Pick Has New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose daily coronavirus news conferences have prompted comparisons to Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats," become an overnight vice presidential candidate? Published:4/4/2020 4:54:16 PM
[] Saturday Afternoon Chess thread 04-04-2020 WGM Andjelija Stojanovic (SRB) WGM Andjelija Stojanovic (SRB)--> TheJamesMadison will be along later with the movie thread. As always, the chess/dress pr0n thread is an open thread, so there is no such thing as an off-topic comment. Beginner Problem -... Published:4/4/2020 4:54:16 PM
[] The Economist calls it 'striking' that the media has greeted with silence the latest #MeToo claim against Joe Biden Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[Politics] Liberals are trying to cancel Joe Rogan again over what he just said about Joe Biden Joe Rogan said on his podcast what is pretty clear to everyone – Joe Biden is losing it and shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power for the most important country . . . Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[worldNews] Nineteen killed in shootout in northern Mexico At least 19 people have died in a shootout between suspected gangsters in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua, local authorities said on Saturday, in one of the worst outbreaks of gang violence to hit the country this year.
Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[Entertainment] Tina Knowles Shares Beyoncé and Jay-Z Wedding Photo in 12th Anniversary Tribute Beyonce, Jay-Z, Clive Davis Pre-2020 Grammys GalaHappy anniversary, Beyoncé and Jay-Z! The music power couple is celebrating 12 years since they tied the knot in a secret, intimate wedding ceremony at the rapper and producer's...
Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[Markets] Where Should I Retire?: ‘I’m 73 and fed up with California and want a gun-friendly, affordable city with good weather — so where should I retire?’ Some hidden gems to consider in Georgia, New Mexico and Arkansas.
Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[2019 News] It appears Los Angeles County has created our first Death Panel

It appears Los Angeles County has created our first Death Panel. If you have a heart attack in LA County good luck. Evidently the first Death Panel in he country has deemed you unfit for medical care. Los Angeles County officials this week ordered paramedics to wait five minutes after reviving someone with cardiac arrest […]

The post It appears Los Angeles County has created our first Death Panel appeared first on IHTM.

Published:4/4/2020 4:23:24 PM
[] Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the US is a 'brutal, barbarian society' for most working-class citizens Published:4/4/2020 3:55:48 PM
[Entertainment] Khloe Kardashian and Daughter True Thompson Twin in Fierce Pajama Set Khloe Kardashian, True Thompson, Mother's Day 2019Cozy vibes! Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, practicing social distancing is more important than ever. And that's exactly what Khloe Kardashian and her daughter True Thompson...
Published:4/4/2020 3:55:48 PM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Eugene Volokh] Restrictions on Interstate (and Intrastate) Travel in an Epidemic are generally constitutional (whether they forbid travel to a particular place, or require travelers to be temporarily quarantined). Published:4/4/2020 3:55:48 PM
[2019 News] De Blasio just found out coronavirus transmitted by asymptomatic

Mayor De Blasio just found out coronavirus can be transmitted by asymptomatic people. Nothin’ slips past this guy… We tried to figure out how long this has been common knowledge. Here’s a science alert from February 24.

The post De Blasio just found out coronavirus transmitted by asymptomatic appeared first on IHTM.

Published:4/4/2020 3:55:48 PM
[Featured News] Watch Live: President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a White House Press Briefing – 4/4/20

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force hold a briefing Saturday to update the media. Content created by Conservative Daily News and some content syndicated through CDN is available for re-publication without charge under the Creative Commons license. Visit our syndication page for details and requirements.

Watch Live: President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a White House Press Briefing – 4/4/20 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/4/2020 3:55:48 PM
[Markets] Tucker Carlson On Fauci's Quarantine Call: Pushing "National Suicide" While He Has Job Security Tucker Carlson On Fauci's Quarantine Call: Pushing "National Suicide" While He Has Job Security

Tucker Carlson on Friday night blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci for his lately publicly urging the Trump administration to declare a federally-imposed 'stay at home' order across all 50 states, while also underscoring the FOX host still considers the White House coronavirus task force member and nation's top infectious disease expert to be an “impressive person”.

“We’ve interviewed Dr. Fauci respectfully on this program, and we’d gladly do that again if he came back, and he will come back. He’s an impressive person. But that does not mean that he’s never wrong,” Carlson said. “On the question of this pandemic, Fauci has been wrong repeatedly.”

Carlson expressed he's particularly bothered by Fauci’s recommendation of a national quarantine given that economic devastation would be pretty much assured. The night prior Dr. Fauci told CNN's Anderson Cooper during a coronavirus town hall: "I don't understand why that's not happening." He said further, "You know, the tension between federally mandated versus states' rights to do what they want is something I don't want to get into," and added, "But if you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that."

Carson slammed Fauci's “extreme measures” as tantamount to "national suicide":

“More than 10 million Americans have already lost their jobs. Imagine another year of this. That would be national suicide, and yet, that is what Anthony Fauci is suggesting, at least. Now, we’re not suggesting that Fauci wants to hurt America. We don’t think he does, he seems like a very decent man. But Fauci is not an economist or for that matter someone who fears being unemployed himself. Like most of the people around him. This is not an attack, this is just an observation. Fauci has bulletproof job security. He’s not thinking that way. He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his profession. He doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.”

Carlson aired the clip of Fauci saying, “I know it’s difficult, but we’re having a lot of suffering, a lot of death. This is inconvenient from an economic and a personal standpoint, but we just have to do it.”

To this Carlson responded:

Inconvenient? 10 million Americans out of work and staring at poverty. That is not inconvenient, as you just heard Dr. Fauci put it. It’s horrifying. In fact, it’s a far bigger disaster than the virus itself by any measure. Tony Fauci, decent as he may be, can’t see that because he doesn’t think it’s his job to see it. But even a doctor should be able to think beyond the models. Our response to coronavirus could turn this into a far poorer nation. Poor countries are unhealthy countries, always and everywhere. In poor countries, people die of treatable diseases. In poor countries people are far more vulnerable to obscure viruses, like the one we are fighting now. You want to keep Americans from dying before their time? Then don’t impoverish them. For all his credentials, his experience, his apparent personal decency, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not seem to understand any of this and we should never let someone like that run this country.

Meanwhile much of the mainstream media has directed its ire at the last nine "hold-out" states which have "dragged their feet" on the issue.

Many governors have expressed that they don't see the need to take such a drastic step that could decimate their local economies, leaving social distancing to the 'good judgments' of counties, towns, and individuals.

The nine states that have resisted state-wide 'stay-at-home' or 'shelter in place' orders are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming though it should be noted that Oklahoma has passed measures that come very close yet without giving a final formal directive.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 16:45
Published:4/4/2020 3:55:47 PM
[Politics] Liberals are trying to cancel Joe Rogan again over what he just said about Joe Biden Joe Rogan said on his podcast what is pretty clear to everyone – Joe Biden is losing it and shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power for the most important country . . . Published:4/4/2020 3:55:47 PM
[ADP] 5 Safe And Cheap Dividend Stocks To Invest (April 2020) Published:4/4/2020 3:23:06 PM
[] Surgeon General: Here's how to make your own mask. No sewing required. Published:4/4/2020 3:23:06 PM
[8781b814-e658-547f-9650-1642560051e6] Actress Patricia Bosworth dead at 86 due to coronavirus Patricia Bosworth, an actress who once starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and later wrote biographies on several stars including Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, has died from complications of the coronavirus. She was 86. Published:4/4/2020 3:23:05 PM
[Uncategorized] NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo orders National Guard to seize ventilators from upstate hospitals (#UpstateLivesMatter) Cuomo calls this "sharing," but the mostly Republican and rural upstate region has a bitter history with Cuomo leaving deep suspicion, as Cuomo's plan would leave upstate hospitals with no excess capacity as the virus epicenter spreads out from NYC. Published:4/4/2020 3:23:05 PM
[Markets] This Is Where The World Is On The "Corona Curve" At This Moment This Is Where The World Is On The "Corona Curve" At This Moment

Two weeks ago, we wrote that with 1.7 billion people in the world under quarantine (a number which has since ballooned to over 3 trillion) and "desperate to find out where on the coronavirus "curve" they are to calculate how much more pain there is, JPM made an attempt at a (very nonscientific) visual representation of where on the curve the main covid outbreaks in the world currently stand." Additionally, this is how we laid out the good/not so good/bad news as of March 24:

  • The good news, China has is now well into the recovery phase, although since any and every number out of China is a lie, we would ignore any reports that the covid pandemic in China is easing especially after a spate of recent indications that China is openly manipulating its infection numbers. Also good news: Korea is almost "over the hump", and absent new clusters emerging in the next few days, should be in recovery.

  • The not so good news: both Italy and Iran are in the "late accumulation" phase. If they fail to halt the breakout at this point as the recovery phase approaches, it will get very ugly as much of the local population could then be infected. Behind Italy and Iran is the rest of Europe, with Spain, Germany, France, the UK all in the acceleration phase. The onus in on them to execute successful lockdowns.

  • Finally, the bad news: both the US and India are at the very start of the curve and things will get much uglier in the coming weeks before they get better.

Long story, short, this is what the global "corona curve" looked as of March 24.

Fast forward to today when we we again have some good and bad news, oh and a graphic update of where on the curve the world is.

First, the bad news: putting the past two weeks in context, back on March 24 there were roughly 350,000 global cases, with 15,000 deaths. As of today, there are now 1.2 million cases and rising by 80,000 every day, with roughly 67,000 deaths and rising by about 8,000 per day.

Now the good news: with every passing day, the world - most of which is currently on lock down - gets closer to the infection inflection point, and as the updated "corona curve" chart shows, all the nations that were in the exponential rise phase (acceleration), are now moving into the stage of infection growth rate slowdown (accumulation), suggesting that a pea for most countries is now just a matter of time, at which point the number of new cases will start slowing down aggressively.

This means that while US cases continue to soar, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible. One caveat: the giant populations off Brazil, Indonesia and Philippines are only now entering the acceleration phase, meaning that the number of global cases could soar in the coming weeks.

Finally, here is how the virologists over at JPM summarize where the world currently stands:

From an epidemiology modelling perspective, an assumption that 0.1-0.2% of the global population (or 8-16 million people) is subject to initial exposure to infection and that ~10% of the susceptible are subject to being infected could be a highly conservative pandemic scenario, in our view. In the case of COVID-19, reported infections are now above 1 million, which suggests that over 0.1% of the global population (under the assumption of a 10% conversion from test to infection) could be in the infection group.

Three key things we have learned so far are that COVID-19 can be asymptomatic and have up to two weeks of latency, and that there are limited test-kit supplies. Thus, if we assume that reported infections represent only about one-third to one-quarter of total infections, 0.4-0.5% of the global population might be initially exposed to COVID-19. Considering a four- to five-week virus cycle and global efforts to reduce new contacts via strong social distancing and city lockdown, the global infection cycle, which currently looks to be in the middle of the exponential rise (acceleration), could be gradually moving into the stage of infection growth rate slowdown (accumulation).

Translation: finally some good news as the bank concludes it might be reasonable to "gradually map out the potential global curve peak within two months." The risk is that any indication of a slowdown in new cases will also lead to an early relaxation of stricter social distancing practices, as this could drive an infection curve rebound, something which is already happening in Japan, where today there were a record 118 new cases . And since China has been rushing to reopen its economy to avoid an all out economic depression and did away with "social distancing" long ago, one can be certain that China's real numbers are exponentially higher than the political propaganda that Beijing is reporting to the outside world

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 16:05
Published:4/4/2020 3:23:05 PM
[Right Column] Coronavirus could lead to biggest carbon dioxide emissions drop since World War II – ‘Sweeping halt of economic activity around the world’

"Without additional structural reform, however, these changes will likely have little long-term impact."

Published:4/4/2020 3:23:05 PM
[Health] Bookworm Beat 4/4/20 — the “if laughter cures, coronavirus has no hope” illustrated edition

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine, and I’ve got a huge prescription of laughter to help fight off coronavirus (plus a handful of serious points).   If you liked these, you can find more illustrated editions here.

The post Bookworm Beat 4/4/20 — the “if laughter cures, coronavirus has no hope” illustrated edition appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:4/4/2020 3:23:05 PM
[] Shunned: Slate notes that New York City hasn't received an outpouring of national love like after 9/11 Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Entertainment] Everything We Know About the Tiger King Miniseries Tiger King mini series - Carole Baskin, Kate McKinnonThe story of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin is going to be brought to life by Kate McKinnon and the team at UCP. The twisted tale of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin's feud has been...
Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[worldNews] Number of coronavirus intensive care patients in Italy drops for first time Italy reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday and said the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for the first time.
Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Politics] Incompetent De Blasio says we’ve only known for 2 days that asymptomatic carriers could spread coronavirus One of the worst characteristics of the coronavirus that makes it so alarming is that people who are carrying it but express no symptoms can still spread the disease. We have known . . . Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Politics] Incompetent De Blasio says we’ve only known for 2 days that asymptomatic carriers could spread coronavirus One of the worst characteristics of the coronavirus that makes it so alarming is that people who are carrying it but express no symptoms can still spread the disease. We have known . . . Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Markets] Watch Live: White House Coronavirus Task Force Delivers Saturday Briefing Watch Live: White House Coronavirus Task Force Delivers Saturday Briefing

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases confirmed in the US races toward the 300k mark, President Trump and the rest of the White House coronavirus task force will deliver their latest daily briefing on Saturday.

Watch live below. Trump tweeted that it's set to start at 330pmET...

...but the daily briefing typically kicks off at least 15 minutes late.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 15:25
Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[0a212549-926c-5831-8640-19d86fbd62a0] Zac Efron admits he never wants to get in 'Baywatch' shape ever again: 'It's just stupid' Zac Efron admitted that he has no desire to get back in the extremely good shape he was in while filming the movie “Baywatch.” Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Quick Takes] Journalism Profs Sign Letter Claiming FOX News Spreads Coronavirus ‘Misinformation’ “viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation" Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Josh Blackman] Reflections After Three Weeks of Zoom This world is our new normal. We are not going back. Published:4/4/2020 2:54:36 PM
[afc59f1e-3d26-5975-a67e-4800927b821f] Princess Margaret’s Lady-in-Waiting says wartime efforts made royals 'tough' amid the coronavirus pandemic Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s Lady-in-Waiting and close confidant to Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, believes history has prepared the British royal family to address the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Published:4/4/2020 2:22:58 PM
[Entertainment] Vanessa Bryant Speaks Out About Kobe Bryant Being Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame Vanessa Laine Bryant, Kobe Bryant, 2018 Oscars, CouplesSaturday was a bittersweet day for Vanessa Bryant and her daughters: It was announced that her late husband Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of...
Published:4/4/2020 2:22:58 PM
[Markets] "Failure Could Set The World On Fire" - Kissinger Warns World Leaders Of Epochal Period Post-COVID "Failure Could Set The World On Fire" - Kissinger Warns World Leaders Of Epochal Period Post-COVID

The last time we heard from former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, he was warning that a permanent conflict between Washington And Beijing would be unwinnable and lead to “catastrophic outcome"...

“It’s no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other… it will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilisation,” said Kissinger.

And now the former US Secretary of State has an even more ominous warning, the U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.

The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation.

But the 96-year-old notes, there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours.

American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.

Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.

The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.

The U.S. administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus’s spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans’ ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.

Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will - hopefully - be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.

Drawing upon his lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, Kissinger believes that the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains.

  • First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.

  • Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

  • Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.

The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides—in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.

We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 15:05
Published:4/4/2020 2:22:58 PM
[Markets] In One Chart: Two. Trillion. Dollars? Here’s where all that coronavirus stimulus is going It’s hard to wrap your brain around $2 trillion. That’s where this visual from cost-estimating website HowMuch.net comes in.
Published:4/4/2020 2:22:57 PM
[Entertainment] Original Content podcast: ‘The Platform’ offers a gruesome metaphor for capitalism “The Platform” is not a subtle movie. That’s true of its approach to horror, with intense, bloody scenes that prompted plenty of screaming and pausing from your hosts at the Original Content podcast. It’s also true of its thematic material — right around the time one of the characters accuses another of being communist, you’ll […] Published:4/4/2020 2:22:57 PM
[] Ace of Spades Pet Thread (H/T Legally Sufficient) *** Good afternoon and welcome to the almost world famous Ace of Spades Pet Thread. Escape reality for the next couple of hours and enjoy the world of pets. Leave current events out would you please?... Published:4/4/2020 2:22:57 PM
[] One word used by Kushner set off the left, investigation demanded Published:4/4/2020 1:54:21 PM
[Health Care] Asymptomatic Cases Complicate the Containment of Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2, the biological pathogen that causes the COVID-19 disease, is a vicious virus. While much remains to be learned, the new coronavirus seems to be... Read More

The post Asymptomatic Cases Complicate the Containment of Coronavirus appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[In The News] California Providing Millions Of Dollars For Illegal Alien Business Owners

By Jason Hopkins -

California Democratic Gov. Gain Newsom confirmed that his administration is providing economic relief to businesses in his state that do not otherwise qualify for federal aid, including those owned by illegal aliens. “[W]e always consider those that are documented, those that are undocumented, those that are living in mixed-status families,” ...

California Providing Millions Of Dollars For Illegal Alien Business Owners is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[worldNews] In Italy, support groups fear lockdown is silencing domestic abuse victims Italy has seen a sharp fall in official reports of domestic violence as it approaches a month under coronavirus lockdown, raising concern among some support groups that forced confinement is leaving victims struggling to seek help.
Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[Coronavirus] What about Sweden? (Paul Mirengoff) I have started to track Sweden’s numbers of Wuhan coronavirus reported cases and reported deaths. Why Sweden? Because it is taking a different approach to dealing with the virus. Instead of locking down, Sweden is keeping its restaurants, cafes, and schools open. Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says he’s relying on the good judgment of Swedes to carry their country through the pandemic. Good judgment or not, Sweden’s approach means Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[Markets] This part of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package will save you money in your 401(k) and IRA You can keep your RMD in your account — at least for a year
Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[Markets] Exclusive: Honeywell Pressures Suppliers To Cut Prices 30% Honeywell, the big industrial and aerospace firm, is asking its suppliers for deep cuts in the price of goods it buys from them—along with extended payment terms and other concessions—in a sign of how the swift economic downturn caused by Covid-19 is cutting across American industry. Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[Markets] They Fought The Fed And Lost: How Powell Triggered A "Spectacular" Short Squeeze In LQD They Fought The Fed And Lost: How Powell Triggered A "Spectacular" Short Squeeze In LQD

Over two years ago, in Jan 2018, we first showed that when it comes to betting on trouble in the investment grade bond market, investors had a preferred instrument for pessimism: shorting the LQD, the largest US investment grace corporate ETF.

In retrospect, and loosely paraphrasing Crocodile Dundee, what happened to the LQD in Jan 2018 wasn't trouble. This - as shown in the chart below - was "trouble": between its all time high on March 6, and the ten year low hit just two weeks later on March 19, the LQD went bidless as the corporate bond bubble burst, and both investment grade and high yield debt ETFs and single names cratered.

As LQD plunged, the shorts soared, rising to never before seen levels, send the index even lower and sparking even more shorting. By this point, only one thing could save capital markets - both bonds and stocks (why stocks? Because as a reminder the only buyer of stocks in the past decade have been buybacks; kill the bond market and suddenly companies can't issue debt to fund buybacks and it's bye bye, not buy buy, stocks): the Fed had to step in and buy bonds, something we explained on Thursday, March 19 in ""The Bond Market Is Broken" And Only Fed Buying Bonds Can Fix It"

However, on quad-witching Friday, March 20, the Fed did not do what so many traders were now expecting, and the liquidation continued with stocks in freefall, sending the Dow below 19,000, and to levels not seen since the Trump election.

By the following Monday, the Fed was trapped - either it unleashes not a bazooka but a "nuclear bomb" (as Paul Tudor Jones called it) and stabilizes the unprecedented panic gripping traders, or the market was about to close. It picked the former, and before the open on Monday, March 23, the Fed announced not only unlimited QE, but in an unprecedented move, Powell said he would also start buying loans and bonds in the secondary market, as well as the LQD.

What happened next was also unprecedented: as JPM puts it, "looking at credit ETFs, the short base collapsed in spectacular fashion from LQD, the biggest HG ETF after the Fed’s credit backstop programs." As shown in the chart below, all those traders who naively expected that the Fed would not nationalize virtually every market and - at least implicitly fought the Fed - were carted out following the biggest, most "spectacular" short squeeze in history: that of LQD on March 23.  The chart below shows that between March 23 and April 2, the % of LQD shares loaned out - a proxy for shorting - had dropped from an all time high to a record low...

... as the Fed triggered a historic short squeeze, crushing all those who did not even know they were fighting the Fed when they shorted the LQD, which had become a systemically important instrument, explaining why everything in the cap structure above IG debt is no longer subject to any market forces but merely to the whims of the NY Fed's trading desk - will it buy LQD, and how much. That's all that maters now.

What happens next?

Well, with shorts no longer allowed to speculate in IG debt or anything less risky as it is all backstopped by the Fed now, only a few things remain subject to the whims of markets: junk bonds and stocks.

Which is why, as JPM observes, after the epic squeeze in LQD, the short base on both HY ETFs and the most popular ETF od all, the SPY, remains elevated...

... as does the short base on the EEM ETF.

We point this out because the pain for markets is hardly over, and with shorts now having an even more limited arsenal of instruments, they will inevitably focus on HYG and SPY during the next crash. Which also means that now that the Fed has effectively gone all in, the only question is how low will it allow first junk bonds and then stocks to drop, before Powell goes full Haruhiko "Peter Pan" Kuroda and announces that the Fed will buy both junk bonds and stocks going forward, in the process nationalizing the entire market.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 14:40
Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[Markets] Exclusive: Honeywell Pressures Suppliers To Cut Prices 30% Exclusive: Honeywell Pressures Suppliers To Cut Prices 30% Published:4/4/2020 1:54:20 PM
[] 'SO noble'! Head of journo union says layoffs of brave reporters jeopardize public health, shares idea for Congress to 'save US newspapers' (and people have thoughts) Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[worldNews] Canada PM says will not retaliate against U.S. over block of mask exports Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not retaliate for U.S. President Donald Trump blocking 3M Co's exports of N95 respirator masks that protect doctors and nurses from the spread of coronavirus.
Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Entertainment] Miley Cyrus Names Her Favorite "Old" Hit and the Answer May Surprise You Miley Cyrus, 2019 iHeartRadio Music FestivalMiley Cyrus will always be Miley; The singer says she has not really changed over the past decade...and still can't be tamed. While practicing physical distancing amid the coronavirus...
Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[TC] New guidance on SBA loans means most startups are still excluded from $349 billion stimulus Under new guidance issued by the Small Business Administration it seems non-profits and faith-based groups can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans designed to keep small business afloat during the COVID-19 epidemic, but most venture-backed companies are still not covered. Late Friday night, the Treasury Department updated its rules regarding the “affiliation” of private […] Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Podcasts] The Power Line Show, Ep 178: Around the World in 80 Months? Jeremy Carl’s Epic (Steven Hayward) My guest this week is Jeremy Carl, currently a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, and formerly a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, where he directed the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. His political writing and commentary has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, National Review, Politico, the Economist, and many other leading newspapers and magazines. Of special interest to me, however, is Jeremy’s personal story Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Left Column] Edible insects set to be approved by EU in ‘breakthrough moment’ – ‘Could put mealworms, locusts & baby crickets on menus’

Within weeks the EU’s European Food Safety Authority is expected by the insect industry to endorse whole or ground mealworms, lesser mealworms, locusts, crickets and grasshoppers as being safe for human consumption.

#

Flashback 2019 UK Guardian: Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Uncategorized] Tucker Carlson: NY Times Distorted Wuhan Coronavirus Coverage, So It Should Stop Pointing Fingers At Fox News During critical time period, NYT downplayed the risks with headlines like "Beware the pandemic panic" and "Who says it's not safe to travel to China?" Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Markets] Dispatches from a Pandemic: ‘I’m not going to lie, it was a nightmare’: A recovered New Jersey coronavirus patient urges caution — and hope ‘I’m just not taking any chances, and I don’t think anybody else should be either,’ says John Mormando, who remains in self-quarantine.
Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Opinion] Blood of Aborted Babies on Hands of Non-Voting Christians

By Amalia White -

In my home state of Colorado, Democrat legislators voted against a bill that would require medical care be given to babies who survived abortions and were born alive. The Colorado Democrats killed House Bill 1068, which in turn allows for the slow demise of injured babies outside the womb. According ...

Blood of Aborted Babies on Hands of Non-Voting Christians is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[Markets] Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In New York Near Nationwide Totals From Italy, Spain As Cuomo Reports Promising Slowdown In Hospitalizations: Live Updates Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In New York Near Nationwide Totals From Italy, Spain As Cuomo Reports Promising Slowdown In Hospitalizations: Live Updates

Summary:

  • UK reports more than 700 deaths, mortality rate climbs to record 10.35
  • Germany reports smallest batch of deaths in 2 weeks
  • Spain case numbers pass Italy, after reported lowest deaths in a week yesterday deaths
  • Journalist says more than 800 health-care workers infected in Massachusetts
  • NY reports 10k+ new cases as statewide total nears those of Italy, Spain
  • Italian government agrees on emergency business loan program
  • US cases of COVID-19 near 280k
  • US death toll tops 7k
  • Portugal reported 638 new cases
  • Belgium reported 1,661 new cases and 140 new deaths
  • A looting wave has struck NYC businesses
  • France says 600 soldiers infected
  • UK Health Secretary reminds Britons to stay inside this weekend
  • Pop star Pink test positive
  • India quarantines 20k people connected to Islamic missionary movement
  • Trump uses DPA act to block export of medical equipment
  • Tokyo reports more than 100 cases in a day, largest jump yet, as Japan's 2nd wave worsens

*   *   *

Update (1355ET): With the pace of new COVID-19 infections finally slowing in Europe, officials in the US, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the peak still remains weeks away. At least that's what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday after providing the latest update on the outbreak in New York.

As National Guard troops set up a temporary morgue across from the medical examiner's office in Manhattan, Cuomo warned that while nobody knows the number "at the top of the mountain", experts expect that the number of new cases could peak "in the seven-day range," he said. Unfortunately, Cuomo added, his state - the hardest hit in the US - remains short of vital equipment, most importantly ventilators, needed to fight it.

"Nobody can tell you the number at the top of the mountain," Mr. Cuomo said, but estimated that it would be "in the seven-day range." He said the state was not yet prepared for that point.

"It feels like an entire lifetime," he said. "I think we all feel the same, these stresses, this country, this state - like nothing I’ve experienced in my lifetime."

On Saturday, New York State reported 10,841 new coronavirus cases and 630 new deaths for Friday, bringing the number of total cases to 113,704, just shy of the countrywide figures for Italy and Spain, with 3,565 dead.

At the same time, Cuomo urged residents not to lose hope: "This is a painful, disorienting experience," he said. "But we find our best self, our strongest self - this day will end. We will get through it, we will get to the other side of the mountain. But we have to do what we have to do between now and then."

He also offered some more optimistic figures: The rate of hospitalizations in the state has slowed, as the number of patients currently hospitalized increased by just 7% since Friday to 15,905 at the latest count, the smallest jump in at least two weeks. Of those, 4,126 were in intensive care. On average, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by just 27 a day during the week ended on March 28. So far, two-thirds of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have been discharged, Cuomo said.

The governor has warned that the state will need 30K ventilators before the peak arrives. It's unclear how many they have on hand right now: Cuomo is storing a stockpile in a state warehouse and has promised to dole them out to hospitals as they are needed, while he continues to beg Trump for more from the federal stockpile (if there are any available, which he said yesterday he believes there aren't).

The decision of Ford to team up with GE to produce ventilators will help, but those machines will almost certainly arrive too late to help New York State.

In NYC meanwhile, businesses are being hit by a wave of looting after the mayor let out hundreds of "nonviolent" criminals from Rikers.

*   *   *

As the scramble for ventilators & PPE continues across the country, President Trump last night finally invoked the DPA to ban "unscrupulous actors and profiteers" (an apparent reference to 3M, the pillar of American manufacturing that has become embroiled in a feud with the administration in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic) from exporting critical medical gear used to protect wearers from the coronavirus. Unfortunately, that won't do anything to increase the availability of badly needed ventilators as hospitals in NYC discover that an alarming number of ICU patients require ventilators. If the number of critical patients starts to overwhelm ICUs, without enough ventilators on hand, nurses and doctors will effectively be deciding who lives and who effectively suffocates to death on their own fluids.

The issue of health-care workers becoming infected has become a major problem in the UK, and was infamously a huge problem in Wuhan during the early days of the epidemic (who can forget the martyrdom of Dr. Li Wenliang?). But now, it looks like it's becoming a growing problem in the US: More than 850 hospital employees in Massachusetts have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a tally being kept by one journalist.

All of this comes as the number of cases confirmed in the US nears 280k, more than the next two countries (Spain + Italy) combined.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed deaths in the US topped 7k (it was 7,134 at last count, to be exact)...

On Friday evening, England's chief nursing officer Ruth May paid tribute to two nurses, Areema Nasreen and Aimee O'Rourke, who succumbed to COVID-19 after catching it on the job. They were "part of our NHS family," May said.

"They were one of us, they were one of my profession, of the NHS family," said Ms May. "I worry that there's going to be more and I want to honour them today and recognise their service."

May urged Britons to resist the temptation to go out and party during the expected beautiful weather this weekend. "But please, I ask to remember Aimee and Areema. Please stay at home for them," she according to the BBC.

Last night, the chair of the surgery department at New York Presbyterian’s Columbia University Irving Medical Center said 98% of ICU patients required ventilators.

During a Friday morning interview on CNBC, 3M CEO Mike Roman said it was "absurd" to suggest his company wasn’t doing all it could to help the U.S. fight the pandemic, and that by banning export of critical gear, it could make it more difficult to acquire these products in the US as more companies start hoarding and banning export in response.

But perhaps the biggest news overnight came out of the UK, where the Department of Health reported the biggest jump in deaths yet. The DoH said early Saturday that 708 patients had died across the UK on Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 4,313. Meanwhile, the 3,735 new cases of COVID-19 reported brought the UK's total above 40k to 41,903 . The drop in new cases combined with the jump in new deaths brought the UK's mortality rate to an all-time high of 10.3%.

Put another way:

Meanwhile, with London looking eerily empty as citizens finally obey the lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock reminded the country on Saturday that the order for Britons to stay indoors this weekend was "not a request."

As deaths in the UK climbed, Germany reported its smallest batch of deaths in two weeks. Health officials recorded 6,082 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours in Germany, bringing its total to 85,778, while the number of deaths rose by just 141 to 1,158, only a 14% jump, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

Outside Europe, perhaps the most startling numbers reported overnight was another jump in confirmed cases in Tokyo: More than 110 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed, the largest daily jump since the outbreak began, a record that has been broken over and over these last two weeks.

In India, more than 20,000 people linked to Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat or having had recent 'contacts' with its members have been quarantined as authorities struggle to stay well "ahead of the curve" to prevent uncontrollable outbreaks across the world's second-largest country, and one that's pockmarked with pockets of densely populated slums, per the FT.

We suspect the decision will be cited as yet another example of the Modi government's unkind treatment of the country's Muslim minority.

In Italy and Spain, officials reported another promising decline in new cases, suggesting that the lockdowns imposed by both countries are finally working. However, as the number of confirmed cases in Spain surpassed the number of total cases in Italy, the government of PM Pedro Sanchez ordered a two-week extension of Spain's mandatory lockdown.

More than 20,000 people linked to Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat and their contacts have been quarantined in India as authorities work to contain COVID-19.

"I understand it’s difficult to extend the effort and sacrifice two more weeks," Sanchez said in a televised speech on Saturday. "These are very difficult days for everyone." At this point, a longer lockdown would need the approval of Spain's cabinet and congress.

The number of confirmed cases climbed by 7,026 over the last day to 124,736, according to the Health Ministry. Deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. That 809 number was the actually the lowest number of deaths in a week.

Despite Spain officially moving into the No. 2 spot in terms of total confirmed cases (right behind the US at No. 1, though China likely saw the largest number of cases, as possibly hundreds of thousands went uncounted). Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach," as Spain's government has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe.

In Italy, Parliament and the ruling government approved an additional €200 billion ($216 billion) of emergency loans for businesses, according to the local press. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek state-backed bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue (with, we suspect, a generous handout to Italy's struggling banks).

Meanwhile, the number of cases, at 119,827, with the number of deaths at 14,681.

Meanwhile, Portugal reported 638 new cases of coronavirus and 20 new deaths, bringing it to a total of 10,524 cases and 266 deaths. Belgium reported 1,661 new cases and 140 new deaths, bringing it to a total of 18,431 cases and 1,283 deaths.

As Joe Biden and dozens of Democrats bash the administration for the abrupt firing of Capt. Brett Crozier, who circumvented the chain of command to insist that his sailors be saved from an inevitable outbreak onboard his ship, the American military is learning that it isn't alone. After bringing several infected soldiers from abroad, the French Army Minister said that around 600 French soldiers have now tested positive for the virus.

The problem of active military troops being infected is vexing the US military, as it bases around the world cut off exercises with local military forces and limit training and exercises for US troops as well. Navy officials fear the virus might already have found its way aboard other Navy vessels. Widespread infection could quickly become a massive headache for the US military, since once the virus enters a ship, it's bound to spread, given that social distancing in that environment is virtually impossible.

In the US, pop singer Pink announced late Friday that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, with markets closed, investors will still be keeping a close eye out for any progress in the US's $2.2 trillion stimulus, as well as any news about the 'Part 4' deal that's purportedly being worked out.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 14:12
Published:4/4/2020 1:23:08 PM
[World] The tyranny of the parked car in Washington, D.C.

The novel coronavirus and the resulting quarantine have revealed just how much deference we give to the automobile (or to be precise, parked automobiles) in Washington, D.C., to the detriment of nearly every single form of transportation — pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and bus riders.

Traffic flow is much better than ... Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM

[c6b64fe6-00c4-551a-956c-3ac1fedf5d87] Tucker Carlson: In fighting coronavirus, new government advice to cover our faces is a welcome change The government is advising Americans to cover their faces in public. It's a big change with big implications, and we'll follow it. Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[0ff2c6b5-f701-5149-b70d-fe9029c0585a] Tom Hanks' son Colin shares tutorial on how to turn kerchiefs into coronavirus masks Tom Hanks was one of the first celebrities to announce his positive diagnosis of COVID-19 last month. Now, the actor's son, Colin Hanks, is turning his hobby of crafting kerchiefs into a nationwide charity effort. Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[Politics] Trump to Request More Relief If Small Business Funds Run Out President Donald Trump said he would ask Congress for more relief money to support small businesses if the funds allocated under the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package run out. Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[structure:news] Boris Johnson's pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds suffers coronavirus symptoms Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[Markets] This is how big bear-market rallies have been in the past nine decades From top to bottom, the S&P 500 Index has fallen 35% in this bear market. Here are the two most common questions I receive in my inbox: Is the bear market over? If it is not, can there be a bear market rally? Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[Markets] The Five Things You Absolutely Cannot Say About COVID-19 The Five Things You Absolutely Cannot Say About COVID-19

Authored by James Corbett via Off-Guardian.org,

Pssst. You.

Yeah, you.

Are you interested in talking about…things? You know, the kind of things that we’re not allowed to talk about anymore? You know, since the…uhhh…“The Event“?

You are? Great. I mean, you might have noticed things are getting a bit hairy out there. As in, you’re likely to get your head bitten off for daring to suggest that things may not be totally ok with the “new normal.”

It seems all these new social norms and cultural taboos that have arisen in the past few weeks have also created a raft of new thoughtcrimes: Things that must not be spoken for fear of being expelled from polite society... or worse.

That’s why it’s so vitally important for us to speak out about our concerns before these socially-policed thoughtcrimes become literal crimes. As I’m sure you know, if these new social norms are not confronted, voicing dissent will soon become impossible.

So, allow me to voice some thoughtcrimes of my own. But be forewarned: I assure you that you will find at least some of my ideas to be offensive. You will disagree with them strongly. You will become irate.

The real question is: What are you going to do to those voicing opinions you disagree with? Engage in dialogue with them? Or demand that agents of the state scrub their speech from the internet and lock them in a cage for their thoughtcrime?

Well, either way, I’ve already committed thoughtcrime numerous times in recent weeks, I might as well share them with you. Are you ready? Let’s go.

1. WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY . . . AND IT IS OUR NEIGHBORS

People imagine that when the boots-on-the-ground tyranny arrives, it will be enforced by the police or the military. Newsflash: the boots-on-the-ground tyranny is here, and it is being enforced by your neighbors, Joe Sixpack and Jane Soccermom.

Need proof? How about all the new “snitch lines” that are opening up in city after city and state after state all around the globe to help good citizens tattle on neighbors who aren’t practicing proper social distancing?

That’s right. It’s not just guys yelling out their windows in Brooklyn anymore. Now whenever you see someone within two meters of someone else it is your duty as a loyal citizen of the Brave New World Order to actively report them to the authorities so that they can be dealt with by Big Brother. Rest assured, a score card is being compiled for each jurisdiction, and the powers-that-shouldn’t-be are keeping a list of who’s being naughty or nice (Good job, Minnesota!).

Still, while we can all unequivocally and universally agree 100% with the idea that anyone who physically approaches another human being in this Year of our Virus 2020 deserves to be charged with manslaughter for their heinous act, maybe, just mayyyyyybe—and I’m just spitballing, so forgive me if this seems brash—we’re heading into dangerous territory here. You know, what with the social distancing Stasi becoming the enforcers of our new police state nightmare and all. Call me crazy.

2. DOCTORS ARE THE NEW SOLDIERS

When 9/11 happened, there was a marked and notable intensification in the propaganda glorifying the American military. Not that such propaganda didn’t exist before, but it was nothing like what we’ve seen since “the day that changed everything.” Yes, the hero worship of veterans is one of the hallmarks of the Age of Terror that 9/11 ushered in .

So if this plandemic is the new 9/11, what’s the new hero worship? Well, it should be obvious by now: Doctors are the new soldiers. Now we must dutifully show our appreciation for the brave medical workers on the front lines of this new war…or face yet more social castigation.

You may have noticed the interesting phenomenon making its way around the world. I call it “The Totally Spontaneous Balcony Applause Phenomenon.” Yes, completely out of the blue, all the people under lockdown have decided to show their appreciation for the valiant doctors and nurses in this heroic struggle by going to their balcony at a pre-appointed time and applauding. And no, this totally spontaneous phenomenon is not just occurring in one or two countries. Or three or four countries. But in seemingly every country around the globe.

Just like that. Just out of the blue. Must be something in the zeitgeist, I guess.

Now you’ll forgive me for being out of the loop, but as you know the corona madness has not quite made its way to Japan yet. (But, precisely as I predicted, the very same day that the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed the Tokyo Governor suddenly became gravely concerned about her city, and they are now going to “have to” lockdown Tokyo unless the poor plebs behave.) So I don’t know exactly how people decide on the right time to go to their balcony to applaud. Is it done by vote? What if I’m a few minutes late? Will people think I’m clapping for something else? What exactly is the etiquette here?

Here’s my thoughtcrime: I find these displays creepy and off-putting. I find the glorification of doctors and nurses unsettling. Not because I think they are all quacks. Not because I think they are all evil. Not because I am not grateful for the work that (some) doctors do (some of the time). Not because I don’t recognize the enormous stress that these doctors and nurses are under right now. But because this socially engineered adoration is going to be used to push an agenda exactly like the glorification of veterans was used to push the militarism agenda of the post-9/11 years.

This time, we are being asked to glorify doctors and nurses because these are the same trusted experts whose authority cannot be questioned who are going to be giving you the vaccine. You know, The Vaccine. The one that will bring an end to the then 18-month long psychological siege that we are being placed under.

What?? You still question the vaccines? You still dare to defy the authority of these brave doctors and nurses who risked their lives for us? You can’t say that, you disgusting conspiracy mongering throughtcriminal, you!

Be honest, you know that this push is coming. And they are getting the public to sign on with all these “spontaneous” balcony applause sessions. So perhaps you’ll forgive me for not joining in.

3. I DO NOT TRUST A SINGLE ONE OF THE NUMBERS BEING REPORTED ABOUT THIS OUTBREAK

I am still baffled by the attention that otherwise sane human beings are given to the latest reported numbers from this or that health agency about the scourge of Covid-19. People are throwing around CFRs and R0s like they’ve been studying epidemiology their whole lives. In truth, they’re just regurgitating whatever they saw on CNN or were told in the latest Governor Cuomo press conference.

So what do we make of the baffling discrepancy in death rates from Covid-19 between different countries? Why is Italy’s death rate from the disease a staggering 10% while China’s is more like 4%? And what does that mean for the 70% of humanity that “experts” warn will be infected by this virus?

And while we’re at it, why don’t we ask some equally meaningful questions, like: What color is the Easter Bunny? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? And just how tasty is the cheese that the moon is made of, anyway?

As I demonstrated weeks ago, methods for diagnosing this disease vary so widely from country to country that making comparisons between countries isn’t even like comparing apples and oranges. It’s like comparing apples and aardvarks. And diagnosing a particular type of viral infection via CT scan? How can we possibly trust the infection numbers that are being generated by such methods?

All of that would make the calculation of mortality rates for this disease problematic enough. But, to make matters worse, we don’t even have an accurate tally of the number of people who have died from Covid-19. Take the infamous Italian example, for instance. We’re told that the staggering death rates in Italy (roughly 10% if we go by the official numbers at press time) are a sign of just how deadly this new virus can be.

…But there’s some problems with those numbers. As Prof Walter Ricciardi—scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health—recently revealed, “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”

So how many of the people who are reported as “Covid-19 deaths” in Italy actually had coronavirus listed as their cause of death? Just 12 per cent. What’s more, according to the Italian government’s own report, half of those who died had three or more other diseases at the time of the death. Nearly 80 per cent had at least two other diseases that they were fighting when they died. Only 1.7 per cent of those who died had no other disease.

But why listen to James Corbett, conspiracy theorist, or those silly Italian government health advisors on this matter? Well, I’m not alone in this suspicion of the official numbers. It turns out the “Our World in Data” research group that has been attempting to keep track of the coronavirus numbers has stopped using the World Health Organization’s data because “we found many errors in the data published by the WHO when we went through all the daily Situation Reports.”

And John Ioannidis — who Corbett Report listeners will remember launched the replication crisis in science with his landmark 2005 paper on “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” — has recently come out questioning whether the current Covid-19 response is “A fiasco in the making.” As Ioannidis observes:

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.

After this current madness passes, people will view the public’s blind acceptance of these practices in the same way that we look at the public’s blind acceptance of bloodletting and other methods of medical chicanery from times past.

4. THE DEATH OF A 91 YEAR-OLD IS A FAMILY TRAGEDY, NOT AN EVENT OF INTERNATIONAL CONCERN

OK, so you still insist on taking these phony baloney numbers seriously? Then let’s take another looks at that Italian report on those dying with (not of) Covid-19.

The report tells us that the median age of those who have been pronounced dead with (not of) Covid-19 is 78. To put that number in perspective, the average life expectancy in Italy is 82.8.

That means those who are dying with (not of) the disease are within years of reaching the average life expectancy (and, let’s not forget, they are also suffering in the vast majority of cases from at least two other diseases). I venture to say that a similar panic could be raised about just about any viral disease in circulation if it was being reported in the same way as this coronavirus is being reported.

Since we’re committing thoughtcrimes here, let’s be blunt: “Elderly Patient With Multiple Complications Dies After Contracting Respiratory Illness” is NOT a news story. It’s a daily fact of life.

But in fact, it is a news story. I have been keeping tabs on how the Canadian MSM have been covering the pandemic panic and saw a segment on one of the national news broadcasts about a woman whose 91-year old mother died in a nursing home. It was implied that this 91-year old woman’s life was tragically cut short by the coronavirus and, to make matters worse, her daughter was unable to hold a funeral or service for her mother because Canada is currently under lockdown. I don’t know if I have lost touch with reality or everyone else has, but let me reiterate: This is NOT a news story.

Don’t get me wrong: Any such death is doubtless a tragedy for the family involved. My heart genuinely goes out to all those who lose their relatives in such circumstances. But this is not something that we upend our entire civilization over. We do not stop all productive human activity on the planet, collapse the economy, send millions upon millions of people to the unemployment line, institute lockdowns, and begin talking about mandatory vaccinations, internal passports and other abrogations of essential human freedoms on such a basis.

In fact, if I were to be dying at the age of 78 due to some viral respiratory illness along with my other 78-year old cohorts, I can guarantee that I would be outraged that the powers-that-shouldn’t-be were using my death to upend the liberties that I had spent my life attempting to defend. It is disgusting.

“But what about the young people who die of the disease?” you ask. Fair enough. Again, according to the official reports (which, let me remind you, should not be trusted), there are people under the age of 78 who are dying from the disease as well, albeit in much smaller numbers. And, according to the “models” from the “experts” (who, let’s remember, are right about everything), there could be hundreds of thousands more deaths before this pandemic runs its course.

Well, that brings me to my ultimate thoughtcrime:

5. THE IDEA THAT DISEASE AND DEATH ARE UNNATURAL OR AVOIDABLE IS ANTI-HUMAN

People die.

Sometimes they die of car accidents. Sometimes they die of work-related mishaps. Sometimes they die of old age. Sometimes they die under extremely questionable circumstances while trying to shed light on information that is uncomfortable for the deep state. And, yes, sometimes they die of respiratory illnesses during viral pandemics.

I’ll go one step further: Our mortality makes us who we are. Humans are blessed and cursed with a knowledge of our own fate. No one makes it out of this life alive. And so the question of what we do with our lives becomes paramount.

But more and more, death is being removed from life. Our elderly are shipped off to nursing homes to whither away so that we don’t have to face aging. The funerary industry is neat and anti-septic. Death has become an abstraction. Something that happens somewhere out there, to other people. Not to us, though, surely.

But this entire pandemic madness seems to be predicated on the notion that disease and death are somehow avoidable. That we have conquered such things. Or, at least, that no new disease could ever possibly arise (bioengineered or not) to upset our perfect balance with nature. I mean, yes, many people die of the flu every year, but that doesn’t count. That’s not new.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t work to cure diseases and improve our health. Quite the contrary. It’s just that this current bout of hysteria seems almost anti-human; as if we should be able to transcend our mortal humanity.

CJ Hopkins, in his characteristically humorous way, points out the absurdity of this “War on Death” in his latest article:

We can’t let these Russian dissension sowers, neo-Nazi accelerationists, and coronavirus-sympathizers confuse us. They want to convince us that Death is, yes, scary, and sad, but inevitable, and natural. How utterly heartless and insane is that?!

No, we need to close our minds to that nonsense. People are dying! This is not normal! Death is our enemy! We have to defeat it! We need to hunt down and neutralize Death! Root it out if its hidey hole and hang it like we did with Saddam!”

I don’t know why the idea that death is a part of life should be controversial. But, given that even a respected blogger like Craig Murray can be largely lambasted by his own audience for daring to post similar musings, I suppose that it is. I don’t know anymore. Perhaps I’m off my rocker.

All I know is that the room to express dissent on these topics is fast disappearing. It’s time for those of us who can tolerate thoughtcrime to circle the wagons. The Thought Police are closing in.

So maybe you disagree with me. Maybe you’re offended by what I say. Maybe you have your own thoughtcrimes that you’re afraid to express. But if we don’t engage in dialogue about these ideas now, what are the chances that this information will be easier to share in the future?

So what’s your thoughtcrime? 

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 13:40
Published:4/4/2020 12:53:29 PM
[AAL] Stocks To Watch: OPEC Goes Virtual Published:4/4/2020 12:22:58 PM
[World] The COVID-19 crisis validates 'America First' and Britain's Brexit strategies

Crises help us sort out our priorities. The global COVID-19 pandemic makes it clear that for all of the grand rhetoric of our pan-national global organizations, that when it comes to security and health, it’s every nation for themselves. The merits of both Trump’s “America First” and Britain’s “Take back ... Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM

[c8284195-f4fb-5cfd-a2e3-32d6ee17c58e] Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Williams to resume talk shows after coronavirus temporarily suspended production Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams announced their respective talk shows will resume filming on Monday. Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM
[Coronavirus] Late week Wuhan coronavirus numbers (Paul Mirengoff) On Thursday and Friday (April 2-3), new reported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in Spain continued substantially to outstrip those in Italy. Today, April 4, Spain’s total number of reported cases passed Italy’s. In both countries, the number is around 120,000 reported cases. Italy’s death count is lower than Spain’s, probably because the virus hit Italy first. However, Spain’s total might well surpass Italy’s some time this month. In the Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM
[structure:news] These are the NHS workers who have died from coronavirus Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM
[Markets] DHS Ditches Additional Guestworker Visas After Spike In Unemployment DHS Ditches Additional Guestworker Visas After Spike In Unemployment

The Department of Homeland Security has put "on hold" a plan to authorize an additional 35,000 H-2B guestworker visas, meaning businesses can no longer bring on new migrant workers under the program.

The move comes after the initial unemployment claims spiked by 10 million in two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic - with 6.6 million in one week alone as businesses across the country conducted mass layoffs.

"DHS’s rule on the H-2B cap is on hold pending review due to present economic circumstances. No additional H-2B visas will be released until further notice," reads a tweet from DHS.

Notably, the pause came one day after Fox News's Tucker Carlson blasted Homeland Security over the increase.

"We’re facing a global calamity that could wreck our economy, fracture our society," said Carlson, arguing that DHS shouldn't be offering 35,000 slots for jobs that could go to unemployed Americans.

In early March, the agency announced that it would be boosting H-2B slots after nearly 100,000 workers were requested for just 33,000 remaining slots, according to Law360.

Of those extra visas, 10,000 were reserved for citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the three countries comprising the Northern Triangle region that have struck deals with the Trump administration to accept U.S. asylum seekers.

Before the virus struck the U.S., national unemployment was low, hovering below 4% in both January and February of this year, when employers submitted requests to the Labor Department for seasonal workers starting in April.

With H-2B visas capped at 66,000 per fiscal year, demand for these temporary visas, which are granted to employers who can show there are no Americans willing or available to fill the jobs, has consistently outstripped supply. -Law360

With the program paused, however, employers who came up short in the Labor Department's January lottery are out of luck - and might just have to hire Americans.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 13:15
Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM
[] Saturday Gardening and Puttering Thread 4/7/20 [KT] Hey! It's spring! The gardeners are starting to venture out, or to think about some indoor gardening. Speaking of which the irrepressible Chef CBD thought that now might be a good time to discuss herbs, a subject we will... Published:4/4/2020 12:22:57 PM
[Politics] Nationals Lose After Fans Boo Historically Successful President and Terrorist Assassin

The Washington Nationals lost a third consecutive World Series home game on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of lobbyists and political consultants, a defeat that all but obliterates the team's hopes of lifting the Commissioner's Trophy and bringing a sliver of joy to the dreary lives of Washington, D.C., residents.

The post Nationals Lose After Fans Boo Historically Successful President and Terrorist Assassin appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/4/2020 11:53:15 AM
[Entertainment] Robert F. Kennedy's Family Mourns Granddaughter Maeve and Her Son Gideon After Search Suspended Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, Maeve McKeanMembers of the famous Kennedy family are again mourning one of their own. The search for late former US Attorney General and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 40-year-old granddaughter Maeve...
Published:4/4/2020 11:53:14 AM
[Politics] 'Shameful': Dems Hit Trump for Firing of Intel IG Atkinson Democrats on Saturday called President Donald Trump's firing of the Inspector General for the U.S. intelligence community "shameful," saying the move puts Americans at risk. Published:4/4/2020 11:53:14 AM
[Markets] Sudanese Migrant Kills 2 During Knife Attack In Southeastern France Sudanese Migrant Kills 2 During Knife Attack In Southeastern France

As if a national lockdown to prevent a deadly pandemic from killing hundreds of thousands of people wasn't terrifying enough, there are now armed asylum seekers marauding around southeastern France, murdering shoppers as they venture out to buy groceries.

To wit, a man killed two people and wounded several others, one critically, during a knife attack in the town of Romans-sur-Isère in the Drôme, about 20 kilometers north of Valence.

According to Haaretz, witnesses said the man first attacked the owner of a tobacco shop in the town center, then attacked two customers inside the shop. After that, he twalked out and began stabbing people in the street. One of the dead was inside the tobacconist. A second man, a butcher from a nearby shop, was killed outside.

Local police told French media that the suspect was a 33-year-old asylum seeker from Sudan. Anti-terrorism investigators are reportedly investigating the incident to try and determine if it was an act of terrorism.

As COVID-19 has spread across Europe, the issue of how to handle the asylum-seekers and migrants who continue to spill over the continents' borders, even as the Syrian Civil War appears to finally be winding down, has become increasingly fraught as Turkey has reportedly tried to send migrants infected with the virus to Greece.

Macron tweeted his condolences, and promised to investigate to incident and determine whether it was an act of terrorism.

The suspect was living in the center of town where he carried out the attack. A statement from the local municipal government read: "This Saturday 4 April morning an individual carried out a knife attack at several places in the centre of Romans-sur-Isère. The individual in question was arrested around 11am. According to initial information, two people have died, five others are injured and in a critical condition. At this moment, we do not know the motive for this act."

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 12:35
Published:4/4/2020 11:53:14 AM
[Markets] Capitol Report: Small-business owners express confusion, fear over federal bailout fund Small-business owners and nonprofit executives told MarketWatch their banks aren’t yet accepting applications, while expressing confusion and concern about the terms of the loan and whether it makes sense for their businesses to accept the money at all.
Published:4/4/2020 11:53:14 AM
[Entertainment] Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at age 76 Spain’s performing arts guild says Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute has died at age 76 Published:4/4/2020 11:53:14 AM
[Markets] Grieving Chinese Families Can't Bury Dead, Perform 2,000 Year-Old Tradition Grieving Chinese Families Can't Bury Dead, Perform 2,000 Year-Old Tradition

While the Chinese Communist Party claims they've suffered just 3,300 coronavirus deaths out of more than 60,000 who have died around the world as of this writing, evidence exists that the actual death toll across China is far higher - and could be more than 40,000.

And as long lines form at Wuhan funeral homes over the last two weeks, family members - some waiting up to six hours, have been collecting their loved ones in the hopes of giving them a proper funeral. In particular, mourning families want to be able to perform a 'grave sweeping' ritual that has been around for over two millennia - where families gather on the 15th day after the spring equinox to remove weeds and dirt from their ancestors' graves.

Long lines have formed at Wuhan’s eight main funeral parlors, including here at the Hankou Funeral Home, as relatives come to collect ashes before Tomb-Sweeping Day. (Weibo)

Unfortunately, due to the backlog in urns, lost bodies, and Chinese authorities banning, or severely limiting tomb-sweeping rituals due to the large crowds which gather at cemetaries, mourners in Wuhan won't be able to pay their respects until at least May, according to the Washington Post - which suggests that beyond health safety reasons, Beijing wants to limit the number of people standing around, criticizing the government response to the pandemic. 

“No one in the family got to say goodbye to Grandpa or see his face one last time,” said Gao Yingwei, an IT worker in Wuhan whose grandfather, Gao Shixu, apparently succumbed to the novel coronavirus on Feb. 7. The 76-year-old died at home; funeral workers in hazmat suits came to collect his body, telling the family it would be cremated immediately.

To this day, we have no idea how his body was handled, where his ashes are or when we will be able to pick them up,” Gao said. “I don’t even know which funeral parlor those guys were from.” -Washington Post

Cover up

As we've noted over the last several weeks, the numbers in China aren't adding up - as crematoriums have been processing thousands of bodies per day, according to several reports.

The Hankou Funeral Home, for example, told Caixin that it has been operating 19-hour days; enlisting male staff to carry bodies while reporting they've received 5,000 urns in two days.

Using photos posted online, social media sleuths have estimated that Wuhan funeral homes have returned 3,500 urns a day since March 23. That would imply a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number. Another widely shared calculation from Radio Free Asia, based on Wuhan’s 84 furnaces running nonstop and each cremation taking an hour, put the death toll at 46,800. -Washington Post

"It can’t be right . . . because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?" said one Wuhan resident identified only as Zhang, in a statement to RFA.

Also notable are the uncounted deaths - those who likely died of coronavirus but weren't tested for the disease, such as 49-year-old Liu Cheng, who died February 12 of a "severe infection in both lungs." He was not counted in the official coronavirus statistics, and was immediately cremated before his family could see him, according to the report.

Wuhan cemeteries have reported that they will sweep tombs during the memorial period, while some private funeral companies have offered to tend to graves for a fee while the families watch on live stream. And they have nobody to blame but the CCP for their early inaction and destruction of samples in what may have been able to be contained if they had acted sooner.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 12:00
Published:4/4/2020 11:22:11 AM
[Markets] NewsWatch: 3 S&P sectors climbed this week — here are the stocks that rose and fell the most Investors anticipate an oil production deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Published:4/4/2020 11:22:11 AM
[Uncategorized] Democrats Using Crisis to Advance Progressive Agenda "a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision" Published:4/4/2020 11:22:11 AM
[worldNews] Canada will not retaliate against U.S. over block of mask exports: Prime Minister Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was not planning to retaliate over U.S. President Donald Trump's move to block 3M Co's exports of N95 respirator masks for use by doctors and nurses.
Published:4/4/2020 11:22:11 AM
[Markets] Stop Trying to Flatten the Covid-19 Curve. It’s Time To ‘Crush’ It. A New England Journal of Medicine editorial proposes six steps to crush the Covid-19 coronavirus curve in 10 weeks. Published:4/4/2020 11:22:11 AM
[] European leaders lament: Coronavirus might just kill the EU too Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[8b5d77a3-935c-5ffe-a42d-ed75da133f06] Deroy Murdock: In coronavirus battle, Trump has worked tirelessly and creatively President Trump’s response, to date, resembles neither Dr. Jonas Salk nor the Grim Reaper. Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Entertainment] Chris Hemsworth Offers Guided Meditations for Kids to Help Them Deal With Stress and Anxiety Chris HemsworthChris Hemsworth is a real-life superhero! The 36-year-old Thor star and father of three knows all too well how difficult it is keeping children occupied while hunkering down at home with...
Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Jonathan H. Adler] Moot Court in a Time of Coronavirus If law students can run a moot court tournament through video conference, I'd think appellate courts Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Quick Takes] Scientists at U. Pittsburgh Develop Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate "We knew exactly where to fight this new virus" Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Politics] Unbelievable: China joins United Nations Human Rights group despite unleashing global pandemic The commie government that was so utterly incompetent and deceptive about the global pandemic rampaging throughout the world is being rewarded by the United Nations. BREAKING: #China joins U.N. Human Rights Council . . . Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Politics] Unbelievable: China joins United Nations Human Rights group despite unleashing global pandemic The commie government that was so utterly incompetent and deceptive about the global pandemic rampaging throughout the world is being rewarded by the United Nations. BREAKING: #China joins U.N. Human Rights Council . . . Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[fea301e8-0bd6-51d9-a104-6ff503a82a60] Elton John vows AIDS patients will not be forgotten amid coronavirus pandemic, reveals $1M pledge Elton John shared his concerns for the AIDS population amid the growing coronavirus pandemic. Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Markets] The Fed Is Running Out Of Bubbles To Create The Fed Is Running Out Of Bubbles To Create

Authored by Kladji Bregu via The Mises Institute,

The Fed came out with a series of unprecedented measures on March 22, 2020. They announced the Fed will buy an unlimited amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities (MBS), or as Peter Schiff refers to it, “QE infinity.” This has been very positively welcomed by many in the mainstream media and by businesses. Yet, what many are ignoring is that the Fed has to do this to keep the bubbles that it has created going.

Recently, I wrote that the Fed has created many structural problems in the mortgage market, corporate bond market, and the car loan market. These issues have only been “waiting” for such a situation to come to the surface and severely hurt the economy.

Reinflating the Mortgage Bubble

After the recession of 2001 the Fed decreased interest rates substantially, and this along with other government policy led to the housing bubble that burst in 2007. Instead of allowing the market to adjust and get rid of the structural problems created by artificially low interest rates, the Fed decided that what they had to do was to reinflate the housing bubble. The Fed bought massive amounts of MBS to lower mortgage rates and reinflate the mortgage market. This was largely unsuccessful until mid-2012, but then house prices began to rise faster as the economy became more stable. As can be seen from the graph below, house prices have increased by about 50 percent since then and are now at an all-time high.

The graph above may show that the Fed was successful in inflating another housing bubble, yet prices alone do not reveal the whole picture. In the graph below, I show debt-to-GDP ratios for a variety of debts. The red line represents mortgage debt as a percent of GDP, and as it is clear from the graph as a percent of GDP, mortgage debt is decreasing. In fact, it has already decreased by about 20 percent since its all-time high. This shows the Fed was less successful in recreating the housing bubble of the early 2000s.

This is not to say that the housing market is not in a bubble, but the bubble is not in the levels it was last time. Hence, the Fed was less successful in using the housing market to create artificial economic growth. Yet, the Fed’s actions have led to many issues in the mortgage markets. These issues had the president of Ginnie Mae very worried as early as 2015. Here is what he said in his remarks at the Ginnie Mae Summit at the time:

Also, we have depended on sheer luck. Luck that the economy does not fall into recession and increase mortgage delinquencies. Luck that our independent mortgage bankers remain able to access their lines of credit. And luck that nothing critical falls through the cracks.

A New Bubble Post–Great Recession

As the graph above shows the only private sector debt that the Fed was able to substantially increase, as a percentage of GDP, was the corporate debt. Corporate debt has increased by about 67 percent since the end of the Great Recession, from about $6 trillion to $10 trillion in just ten years. This has led to an increase of the corporate debt-to-GDP ratio by about 6 percent, to an all-time high of 46 percent. What is more, the quality of this debt has been deteriorating. Nearly half of the $4 trillion that was added postrecession are BBB rate bonds, or the lowest ratings of investment-grade bonds trench.

Corporations are not alone in this. All other businesses have now accumulated about $5.5 trillion in debt too, bringing the total debt of all businesses (nonfinancial debt only) to about $15.5 trillion. This makes percentage of total debt to GDP about 74 percent, which is higher than the mortgage debt-to-GDP ratio at its highest point in 2009, when it was about 73 percent.

Hence, this time around the Fed has been more successful in fueling a business debt bubble.

Will the Fed Be Able to Fuel Another Bubble?

As discussed above, the Fed replaced to a large degree the mortgage bubble with the corporate bubble. But this happened because corporate debt and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) did relatively well during the last recession. This may not be the case in the recession that many say has already started. In fact, this is very clear when one considers how the Fed has responded to the current economic situation brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic. The Fed now will be lending directly to corporations by using the Treasury to secure these loans. They argue that this is due to the shock the economy is in because of COVID-19, but what they are worried about is that the bubble they created is about to burst given the weakness in the corporate debt markets. The Fed knows that the corporate debt market is not in a good shape, since this has now become clear to many (see herehere, and here for a few examples). It remains to be seen whether they can stop this bubble from bursting or not, but if it does, and if what happened in the mortgage market after the last recessions can teach us anything, the business debt-to-GDP ratio will most likely decrease after the recession that we may be in already.

Before the Great Recession, we had the housing bubble fueled by the Fed. Then, the Fed replaced the housing bubble with the business debt bubble. The question that arises is: what will be the next bubble if the business debt bubble bursts?

Looking at the graph above, the only other major debt category left that is big enough to play a role in the economy is government debt. The national debt-to-GDP ratio increased by about 40 percent during the last recession. However, since about 2013 the government debt-to-GDP ratio has stabilized somewhat, but now with the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), some estimates place the deficit for 2020 alone will be $4 trillion. This will lead to at least an 18 percent increase in the government debt-to-GDP ratio in one year alone.

It seems the Fed’s last hope in fueling the next recovery will be government debt. In fact, the Fed has played a major role in the government debt increase, but now they are doing this at another level. Jim Bianco in an article at Bloomberg recently wrote that the Fed’s plan “includes a hard-to-understand $625 billion of bond-buying a week going forward. At this rate, the Fed will own two-thirds of the Treasury market in a year.” Hence, it is clear the Fed, intentionally or not, is going to make the government debt bubble worse than it is.

Conclusion

The Fed-fueled economy is unstable, and as the Austrian theory of the business cycle teaches us, sooner or later is bound to suffer from recessions. With each passing recession, the Fed finds it harder to refuel the last bubble, but the market moves on to the new bubble, as the Fed keeps interest rates artificially low. The problem the Fed is facing now is that since the last recession they have been unable to fuel good economic growth with artificially low interest rates, since GDP increased at about 1 percent below the post-World War II average of 3.2 percent. This may be because even with artificially low interest rates total debt has decreased as a percentage of GDP, as the graph below shows.

If this trend continues, the Fed will find it even harder to fuel economic growth by lowering interest rates. The problem here is: how far are they willing to go to keep the bubble economy going?

Jim Bianco seems to be worried about what they are doing. He closed the article mentioned above by saying: “Fed Chair Jerome Powell needs to tread carefully indeed to ensure his cure isn’t worse than the disease.” Only time will tell what the results of the Fed’s actions will be, but it sure seems like they will not find it easy to fuel another private debt bubble.

With only government debt left to increase, the Fed may have reached its limits in affecting the economy via interest rate manipulation.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 11:35
Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Markets] Exclusive: Capital One to withdraw controversial regulator request Watchdogs called the decision to grant the request troubling.
Published:4/4/2020 10:52:37 AM
[Entertainment] Meet the Hosts of Quibi's New Series Close Up by E! News! Will Marfuggi, Courtney TezenoFrom Sophie Turner to Zac Efron, many of Hollywood's biggest stars are heading to Quibi--so it's only right that E! News is joining them. That's right! When the new,...
Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[Politics] Liberal Activists Hit McConnell for Judicial Appointments Demand Justice, a liberal activist group that has opposed most of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees, released an ad Saturday slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for discussing the judicial nominations. Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[Markets] He talked to Trump last week — now this billionaire investor is warning about taking ‘undue risk’ in the market Cohen also said his $16 billion firm has effectively managed risk so far this year with performance that is “essentially flat” despite the gutting market downturn. The note follows a conference call with President Trump last week that, according to Reuters, focused on the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve. Dan Loeb of Third Point LLC, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group, Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp and Ken Griffin of Citadel were also reportedly on the call. Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[Markets] After Record Rally Oil Faces Collapse As New Feud Erupts Between Saudis And Russia; Monday OPEC+ Meeting Cancelled After Record Rally Oil Faces Collapse As New Feud Erupts Between Saudis And Russia; Monday OPEC+ Meeting Cancelled

In retrospect, trading on a Trump tweet may not have been the best idea.

On April 2, in what initially appeared to be a belated April fool's joke, the US president tweeted "Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!"

What followed was the biggest rally in the price of oil ever, as countless oil shorts scrambled to cover their positions amid concerns there could be even a shred of truth to Trump's boast that the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia could be coming to an end, especially since global oil demand had cratered by over 20% just as Saudi Arabia boosted its own output to a record 12mmb/d

One day later, on Friday, the surge continued after R-OPEC members saying they may indeed consider a 10mmb/d cut (which, as we also explained would not be nearly enough to balance the oil market but at least it was a start), with Putin admitting he had spoken with US President Trump saying "we are all worried about the situation" and that he is "ready to act with the US on oil markets" with 10mmb/d in oil production needed to be cut.

However, as his Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak, explained at the same time, any production cut would need to also include US shale producers , something that Trump was certainly not too keen on. As the WSJ reported, "Saudi Arabia and Russia won’t cut unless they get signals from U.S. producers they will reduce output, the officials said. But they added that official joint curbs would be more difficult to enact in the U.S. because of antitrust laws."

And so, the world was excitedly looking forward to the Monday's virtual R-OPEC conference where the question was whether Trump would agree to cut US production (and whether he even had the authority to enforce such a cut)

But before that, something happened that few noticed yet ended up being a gamechanger: among the other things Putin said on Friday, we reported that the Russian president was also kind enough to summarize the reasons for the oil price collapse which he blamed on the coronavirus, the lack of oil demand and, drumroll, the Saudi withdrawal from the OPEC+ deal.

“It was the pullout by our partners from Saudi Arabia from the OPEC+ deal, their increase in production and their announcement that they were even ready to give discounts on oil” that contributed to the crash, along with the coronavirus-driven drop in demand, he said.

“This was apparently linked to efforts by our partners from Saudi Arabia to eliminate competitors who produce so-called shale oil,” Putin continued. “To do that, the price needs to be below $40 a barrel. And they succeeded in that. But we don’t need that, we never set such a goal.”

As it turns out, Saudi Arabia was - and remains - quite sensitive to accusations over who was responsible for the failure of the March 5 Vienna summit which ended up in Russia refusing to be forced into even bigger production to appease Saudi Arabia, and prompted Saudi Arabia to unleash a historic oil glut.

In a statement early on Saturday, the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the comments noted above by Putin laying blame on Riyadh for the end of the OPEC+ pact between the two countries in March were “fully devoid of truth.

“Russia was the one that refused the agreement” in early March, the Saudi foreign ministry said. “The kingdom and 22 other countries were trying to to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the agreement.”

Which just happens to be more fake news, and the reason why Russia balked is because it was faced with what it - correctly - viewed was a hostile ultimatum by OPEC. As the NYT reported:

After talks with OPEC members in Vienna, Russia’s energy minister, Alexander Novak, returned to Moscow for consultations on Thursday. In his absence, OPEC officials met and came up with what amounted to an ultimatum. The group as a whole would trim production by 1.5 million barrels a day, or about 1.5 percent of world supply. OPEC, meaning largely the Saudis, would make the bulk of the cutbacks, one million barrels, as long as Russia and other producers trimmed the rest.

The gambit was “something of a boss move,” said Helima Croft, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, but it backfired badly. Russia had played hard to get before, but this time Mr. Novak was not playing. The answer was “no” again, and the Saudi oil minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and other officials headed back to their hotels with no results and no communiqué.

Needless to say, Saudi Arabia was not used to getting no for an answer, and so it responded by effectively disbanding OPEC, even as it continued to blame Russia for doing so: as Bloomberg reports, "since the original OPEC+ deal fell apart at a March 5 meeting in Vienna, the Saudis have argued Russia decided to walk away and was first to say countries were free to pump as much as possible."

“The Russian Minister of Energy was first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments,” said Prince Abdulaziz, the energy minister and half-brother of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. “This led to the decision by countries to raise their production in order to offset lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns.”

In any case, Saturday's direct criticism of Putin was echoed in a statement by Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and threatened any fleeting hope of an agreement to stabilize the collapsing oil market after President Trump devoted hours of telephone diplomacy last week to brokering a truce in the month-long price war between Moscow and Riyadh.

As an immediate result, the OPEC+ (or R-OPEC) meeting scheduled for Monday has been delayed as Riyadh and Moscow have discovered a new reason to feud: arguing over who’s to blame for the collapse in oil prices.

And while the alliance is tentatively aiming to hold the virtual gathering on April 9 instead of Monday as it previously intended, a Bloomberg source said with another noting that "producers need more time for negotiations"; in other words, it is unclear if the meeting will take place at all now that the diplomatic spat has reached the highest levels of the world's top oil producers.

And, as we discussed on Friday, beyond this latest diplomatic spat, Saudi Arabia and Russia have indicated they want other oil countries to join in any output cuts, complicating efforts to call a meeting, the delegate said, asking not to be named discussing diplomatic matters.

“We always remained skeptical about this wider deal as U.S. producers cannot be mandated to cut,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. “If so, Russia doesn’t come to the table. And if everyone doesn’t cut, Saudi Arabia’s long held stance is that they will not cut either.”

A delay is “not a good sign,” said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa at the Eurasia Group consultancy. “This entirely plays negatively for the discussions.”

“Part of Putin’s comments are about saving face and also justifying why the oil price crashed and partly to deter criticism from the U.S. Putin doesn’t want to be blamed for any losses in the U.S. energy industry. It seems to me that there’s both a defensive effort to shield from criticism abroad for both the Saudis and the Russians,” Kamel said.

The prospect of a new deal spurred a 50% recovery in benchmark oil prices last week as traders saw some relief from the catastrophic oversupply caused by a lockdown of the world’s largest economies, in a bit to halt the coronavirus pandemic. With billions of people forced to stay at home, demand for gasoline, diesel and jet has collapsed by about as much 35 million barrels a day.

Which means that absent either Putin or MBS making some major concessions in what would be seen as a glaring sign of weakness, the record oil rally is about to go in reverse because the primary reason behind the oil price crash still looms: the world running out of oil storage in months if not weeks, and is why the Saudis, who have ramped up production to a record 12 million barrels a day in the past month and massively discounted the price of their oil, have insisted a new agreement must involve significant contributions from all OPEC+ nations and major producers outside the coalition, including the U.S. and Canada.

“No one had expected such a total collapse in the oil market,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group which advises the Kremlin. “Saudi Arabia and Russia have lost control of the situation. Tearing up the OPEC+ deal caused a lot of hurt feelings in Moscow and Riyadh, for Putin and MBS. That makes things more difficult, they have to get over that while not losing face. That’s why they’re both pointing the finger at each other."

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 11:12
Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[World] American businesses are tapping their credit lines at the fastest pace ever Under normal circumstances, robust use of commercial credit lines would be good for banks, but these are not normal circumstances.
Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[] The Mask [KT] Fashion Masks - Old News (February) March's mask theme: Sew face masks for medical professionals. A good idea, really. It was hard for importers to get permits to import, for one thing. Maybe now that it's April, we can... Published:4/4/2020 10:22:41 AM
[Markets] In The New Dystopia In The New Dystopia

Authored by Sill Solomon via Counterpunch.org,

It is difficult to neatly encapsulate the shift that has occurred in our collective perception and experience over the last several weeks. That all semblance of ‘certainty’ and ‘normalcy’ has disappeared seems no longer the main feature—what stands out is the psychological shift underway, proceeding on the collective and individual levels. What will this mean, how will it continue to evolve? Every conversation I have now touches on the coronavirus or those things that surround it. Everything I read online is related to it. ‘Social distancing’, ‘flattening the curve’—these phrases have become ubiquitous, standardized.

The situation is increasingly and rapidly revealing a number of uncomfortable but long obvious truths about our reality, perhaps none more so than the extent to which so much we take for granted is based on inertia, faith, and on a most rickety apparatus. A humming economy, the wide availability of consumer goods, school, transport, work—all melt away in the face of the virus.

There exists, in this hyperconnected strangeness, the sense that we are living through something predictable, foreseeable. This goes beyond the specific realities of a gutted pandemic response plan (not to mention public health capabilities) and general poor management of the crisis to something more metaphysical: the ubiquitous sense in the present of doom, of an apocalypse, the feeling that we are at the end of time, that there is no future. One has the sense of the present as deja vu, as almost a projected future of the past, of the 20th century, which saw the breakdown coming in the 21st. This sentiment is by no means new, but it has certainly grown more acute—it feels as if we have moved into another level of dystopia.

Of course, then there is the pure economic reality of the situation: over three million jobless claims last week, by far the most ever recorded in such a brief time span. We are seeing the artifice of the ‘service’ economy disappear—again, hardly shocking for those of us who have watched this patchwork mess limp along for years or longer, especially for those of us who have worked in it.

The mainstream may (or may not) be realizing what has been clear to many of us for a long time: there is no real economy.

As the situation worsens, as the wave breaks, there is something extraordinarily chilling as elected officials and ordinary people call for Trump to assert never-before-activated executive powers—as the Justice Department attempts to enact its own draconian measures—in a desperate embrace of authoritarianism, made even more chilling by the fact that many of us understand this and are willing to concede (some of it) may be necessary. All, particularly in light of the realization settling in that things, will never go ‘back to normal.’ What was normal?

The plain fact is that we are living as unsustainably as ever—we were before this, and we’ve hit a massive speed bump that may have ricocheted us off the edge of the cliff toward which we were already careening. If it wasn’t the virus, it would be something else. And while the United States is uniquely poorly positioned to address this, the massive jolt this has provoked the world over makes it clear enough that the systems of capitalism, of industrial civilization itself, have been teetering on the edge. What this will create is unclear, and even for those of us not totally surprised by these events, the speed has often been difficult to grasp.

But something is happening, something new is coming; be prepared...

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 10:30
Published:4/4/2020 9:51:54 AM
[worldNews] China mourns thousands who died in country's coronavirus epidemic China on Saturday mourned the thousands of "martyrs" who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast across the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.
Published:4/4/2020 9:51:54 AM
[ABBV] Coronavirus Roundtable - Strains And Hopes In The Healthcare Sector Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Markets] With gowns and masks in short supply, researchers test drugs to prevent COVID-19 infections in health care workers At least three clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine are trying to establish whether the decades-old malaria medication can prevent COVID-19 infections in frontline health-care workers as hospitals across the country scramble to secure enough gowns and masks for their employees.
Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Markets] Finns Warned World's Best-Funded Welfare State Collapsing Under Virus-Triggered Mass Unemployment Finns Warned World's Best-Funded Welfare State Collapsing Under Virus-Triggered Mass Unemployment

On March 30, Finland said it would extend its countrywide shutdown until May 13 from April 13. It appears strict social distancing and quarantines are working, but it comes at a massive economic cost. Now we're beginning to learn that the country's welfare system is cracking and cannot handle the influx of unemployed.

Finland has recorded 1,615 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths, by far, some of the lowest numbers when compared to the rest of Europe

There are signs that restrictions on civilian movement are working, Mika Salminen, the director of health security at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told reporters at a government press conference on April 1. 

The opportunity cost of flattening the pandemic curve has come at a tremendous economic cost, resulting in a downturn and high unemployment. Bloomberg notes that Finland has the best welfare system in the world, which is now starting to crack as the surge in unemployment applications is overwhelming the system.

And just like that, in a matter of weeks, 300,000 Finns lost their jobs because of quarantines. The tradeoff is preserving the nation in the long run while dealing with short term economic pain.

Managing Director Sanna Alamaki said on April 1 that funding the welfare system isn't the current issue: It's "that the benefit applications can't be processed and, consequently, money can't be paid out quickly enough." 

Even if General Unemployment Fund YTK were to triple staff to increase application output, there still would be a three-month wait for out-of-work Finns to receive their benefits. YTK expects that 100,000 more applications could "flood" in this month (April) due in part to the extended shutdowns. 

The problem developing, like in many other countries, is that Finland is becoming overwhelmed by the virus. Though each country is different, it's Finland's generous welfare system, one of the best-funded in the world, cannot process applications in time that could lead to prolonged suffering by households that have seen incomes dry up in the last month. 

Finns who cannot receive benefits in time will lose faith in the government, and that could be the moment when social unrest follows.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 09:55
Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Uncategorized] Wuhan Virus Watch: McConnell says there will be 4th coronavirus bill U.S. coronavirus death projections in doubt as officials question China’s numbers Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[0b691b6c-42dc-5d18-aa5a-b7d0e8be88db] Dr. Kent Ingle: Coronavirus demands parents talk with their kids about education and careers You must acknowledge and equip your children to make the most of their education at this time, because it is what will prepare them for the days to come beyond this pandemic. Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Politics] Biden Wants to 'Build a Bench' of Young, Future Leaders Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden says he has had serious discussions with young, qualified people capable of becoming leaders over the next 16 years, reports The Hill. Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Markets] FDIC closes small West Virginia bank, moves deposits to MVB Bank A small bank in West Virginia has become the first institution to fail during the coronavirus crisis, though the bank had been experiencing difficulties since 2015 and its 2019 capital levels were too low, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced Friday. The First State Bank of Barboursville with $152 million in total assets was closed Friday by the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions. The bank's $139.5 million in deposits will be acquired by MVB Bank Inc. of Fairmont, W.Va. The four branches of The First State Bank will reopen as branches of MVB Bank on Saturday, the FDIC said. Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[Coronavirus] Don’t Bogart that chloroquine, cont’d (Scott Johnson) With a little help from our friends we started writing about chrloroquine as a possible treatment for the Wuhan virus on March 15. We added discussions of hydroxychloroquine to the mix and kept at it until President Trump himself picked up the cause. Well, that was enough for the media and a few governors to declare the thing a verboten outrage. Gregg Re takes a look back at the madness Published:4/4/2020 9:22:39 AM
[] Jim Acosta interrupts Dr. Birx and again makes an a** of himself (Jonathan Turley sums up CNN PERFECTLY) Published:4/4/2020 8:54:37 AM
[04f7b07e-29c7-52f1-93ed-5075f73f5888] Jai Chabria: Coronavirus puts spotlight on Trump, makes Biden the invisible man in news coverage Joe Biden may very well be the next president of the United States, but it is quite conceivable that it will have nothing to do with his campaign. Published:4/4/2020 8:54:36 AM
[6d9bc97c-e851-5d61-8573-87b935dcecee] Christopher Cross tests positive for coronavirus, calls it 'the worst illness I've ever had' Christopher Cross is the latest celebrity to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, the singer-songwriter has revealed. Published:4/4/2020 8:54:36 AM
[worldNews] Britain set for long lockdown as death toll rises to 4,313 Britain is unlikely to lift its stringent lockdown rules until the end of May, once the spread of the coronavirus has started to slow, a leading government adviser said on Saturday as the death toll rose to 4,313.
Published:4/4/2020 8:54:36 AM
[Quick Takes] San Francisco Art Institute Expected to Close After Spring 2020 Semester "faculty and staff were told to anticipate mass layoffs" Published:4/4/2020 8:54:36 AM
[Politics] Ocasio-Cortez says coronavirus is racist, stimulus bill should be like reparations Ocasio-Cortez just doesn’t stop, she just keeps on chugging with her vapid stupidity. Here’s her latest – the effects of coronavirus are racist because of course they are: COVID deaths are disproportionately . . . Published:4/4/2020 8:54:36 AM
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