We May Never Know If Covid Leaked From A Lab Unless The United States Stops Helping China Cover Up The Truth

We May Never Know If Covid Leaked From A Lab Unless The United States Stops Helping China Cover Up The Truth

The only Covid narrative that doesn’t directly aim to control people has to do with determining the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Discovering the origin of the virus should have been a top priority, but it was not. Why? Perhaps, instead of controlling people, the goal in this case was to cover for complicit behavior. 

There are only two plausible competing virus origin hypotheses: “lab leak” and “wet market.” Instead of imploring scientists to work together and discover the truth, then-National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins wrote in an email to presidential medical advisor Anthony Fauci early in the pandemic: “Wondering if there is something NIH can do to help put down this very destructive conspiracy [i.e., ‘lab leak’], with what seems to be growing momentum.”

Knowing that SARS-CoV-1 leaked from a Chinese lab on at least two occasions in the early 2000s, why would Collins and Fauci be so quick to “put down” the lab leak hypothesis? 

Evidence Wuhan Lab Was Doing Risky Experiments

A 2016 publication in the premier journal PNAS entitled “SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence” gave us more than enough evidence that risky experiments were being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Specifically, the authors stated: “This manuscript describes efforts to extend surveillance beyond sequence analysis, constructing chimeric and full-length zoonotic coronaviruses to evaluate emergence potential” (emphasis mine). 

In other words, the authors were creating novel viruses and determining how well they could infect human cells. A curious feature of SARS-CoV-2 is the presence of a furin cleavage site in its spike protein that gives it remarkable infectivity. Human cells display a specialized enzyme called “furin protease” that can cleave the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at the furin cleavage site to facilitate efficient infection. 

Surprisingly, this furin site is absent from the spike proteins of the closest known relatives of SARS-CoV-2, leading to the hypothesis that the furin site could easily have been inserted into a bat virus to create a “chimeric coronavirus” (i.e., SARS-CoV-2). The importance of furin protease cleavage was well known to the PNAS researchers, as evidenced by their statement: “Differences in these regions of spike may yield increased protease targeting, enhanced spike cleavage, and/or expanded tropism leading to more robust infection for the epidemic SARS strains” (emphasis mine). 

It was not until around May 2021 that enough scientists called out the politicization surrounding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 that Fauci (and shortly thereafter his megaphones, including Facebook) decided it was permissible to discuss the possibility of a lab leak. Perhaps this explains why, after an astonishing full year of unexplained rejections and delays by journal editors (in a time of Covid-19, when an avalanche of pandemic-related manuscripts was rushed to print in record time), research from Nikolai Petrovsky’s lab showing that the earliest strains of SARS-CoV-2 were extraordinarily human-adapted was not accepted for publication until June 2021. 

Prior to this hard-earned progress toward more open discussion, media outlets like CNN blared headlines equating “lab leak” to “something out of a comic book.” With much of our attention now diluted by other concerns, once again a group of researchers led by Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona published a paper in February that attempted to take us back to 2020 and declare the “lab leak” dead. 

There’s No Proof Covid Originated in a Wet Market

Notably, this paper does not report a closely related sibling of SARS-CoV-2 displaying a spike protein with a furin cleavage site. It also does not explain why the earliest SARS-CoV-2 strains defied evolutionary theory with their incredible affinity for human cells over bats and other animals. Nor does it produce a shred of evidence that an infected animal at the seafood market transmitted the virus to a person. 

Still, the authors claim “dispositive evidence” in favor of the Wuhan market as the virus origin because: first, a cluster of early cases were allegedly geographically centered around the market; second, animals known to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 appear to have been sold at the market; and third, highly sensitive PCR testing detected evidence of the virus in various environmental samples at the market. 

The samples they described were taken between January and March 2020. But by January, with initial cases in Wuhan recorded in early December, the virus had already been spreading for at least one month. By mid-January, the virus had gone international. 

In fact, the joint WHO-China report states: “Transmission within the wider community in December could account for cases not associated with the Huanan market which, together with the presence of early cases not associated with that market, could suggest that the Huanan market was not the original source of the outbreak.” None of the 457 live animals sampled at the market tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, so there simply cannot be “dispositive evidence” of zoonotic spread. 

Furthermore, nothing in the detailed analyses of the paper’s authors eliminates the possibility that an infected person walked into the market and spread the virus. In fact, the few locations where live viruses were detected at the market are “likely to reflect contamination from cases” according to the WHO-China report. In other words, an infected person most likely deposited virus in these locations (i.e., walls, floors, etc.). 

The authors of the study that reported the virus sampling referenced by Worobey et al. came to a different conclusion than Worobey et al. did: “Thus, the market might have acted as an amplifier due to the high number of visitors every day, causing many initially identified infection clusters in the early stage of the outbreak.” According to these scientists, the market was likely a super-spreader event, not the origin of the pandemic. 

What Other Data Is China Covering Up?

Curiously, 13 SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA sequences from the earliest stages of the pandemic were inexplicably deleted from an NIH database at the request of Chinese researchers. Thankfully, the sequences were recovered from the Google Cloud and analyzed by Jesse Bloom.   

Adding to the intrigue, Bloom’s findings suggest that because Worobey et al. failed to include these deleted data in their study, their findings probably present an incomplete picture of the circulating viruses in Wuhan early in the pandemic. It’s further intriguing that one of the Worobey et al. co-authors apparently attempted to pressure Bloom to retract his publication. Bloom’s work should have us all wondering: What other vital data did Chinese researchers delete?

There are nearly 40,000 wet markets in China; what are the odds that this particular market (that happens to be near a virology lab making “chimeric coronaviruses”) was the origin of this coronavirus pandemic? Setting that aside and looking at the totality of the data, both “lab leak” and “market” virus origin hypotheses are still very much in play, as neither side has yet to present “dispositive evidence” on the origin of SARS-CoV-2. 

Still, politicized headlines from major news outlets continue to exclaim their wishful thinking: “Trump’s favorite COVID origin theory of a Wuhan lab leak just got crushed by new research,” as Fortune headlined.  

Why Chinese and U.S. Elites Want to Hide the Truth

Either way, whether lab or market origin, anyone trying to cover for China apparently must be reminded that both scenarios are humiliating for the Chinese government. Both represent extremely careless and unhygienic behavior, especially considering that wet markets are places where endangered animals like pangolins are slaughtered for completely unscientific medicines. 

The difference, of course, is that the lab scenario also implicates powerful interests in the United States. Thus, it’s not difficult to understand why stifling the lab leak would be important to those in power.

Covid caused those in power to react to events that they had little to no influence over with narratives designed to give the illusion of taking control of the situation. What makes this pandemic different are the tools available to control the narratives, namely the addition of Big Tech and their willingness to suppress debate. 

Still, the truism noted by Aldous Huxley that “facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” remains. The challenge is to ensure that people in our society are never too intimidated to offer counter-narratives or debate the edicts from those with power. 


Pat Fidopiastis, Ph.D., is a professor of microbiology at California State Polytechnic University.

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‘Supply Chain Disruptions’ Are Not An Accident, They’re The Logical Result Of Stupid Lockdowns

‘Supply Chain Disruptions’ Are Not An Accident, They’re The Logical Result Of Stupid Lockdowns

In Joe Biden’s painful and inaccurate speech about inflation on Tuesday, he finally shifted from blaming racism for everything to blaming Covid for everything to now blaming “the supply chain” and “Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine” (that Biden baited Putin into) for everything.

These “supply chain disruptions,” as everyone is painfully aware, are doing everything from starving babies to shooting up the price of everything, as Wednesday’s 8.3 percent annual inflation number affirmed again. They are also not random, and they’re not a virus’s fault. They’re the direct and foreseeable consequence of ill-advised global lockdowns that nearly all of our nation’s political leaders refused to take into account when they and corporate media colluded to gaslight the world into accepting them.

Our historic “supply chain problems” are not the result of happenstance. They are the result of cowardly, ignorant, and just plain malevolent leadership throughout the entire Covid era.

Lockdowns never needed to happen. Global lockdowns were never before advised or attempted for much worse pandemics, they were based on faulty models, and the Information Age doesn’t change their imprudence. The “supply chain” consequences alone, as well as many of the other horrific medical and social consequences, should be enough evidence for all rational people to conclude that we must never, ever lock down again.

Focused protection of the most vulnerable during the next pandemic? Absolutely. Voluntary prudential health measures that allow societies to keep normal life going? Sure. But never, ever again lockdowns of the kind Americans were forced to endure in Covid-tide, which have resulted in massive, evil social consequences that are only now beginning to be visible.

The supply chains are only the tip of this dark iceberg. As I pointed out this March on the two-year anniversary of the beginning of this human rights catastrophe, there are many consequences, including:

A June 2021 study by world-renowned scientists across 43 countries, for example, found that lockdown length and strength were correlated with excess deaths, often due to delayed or missed medical care. A January 2021 study also by world-class scientists found that lockdowns did not reduce Covid deaths.

Besides their at best negligible effect at reducing Covid hospitalizations and deaths, lockdowns caused additional and completely unnecessary deaths from delayed or foregone medical care, as well as through starvation due to drastically increased world poverty. According to also-vindicated legitimate experts like Dr. Martin Kulldorff, lockdowns may have also caused additional Covid deaths due to prolonging the outbreak. In short, lockdowns cost lives, while at best saving none.

Various studies estimate lockdowns will have caused millions more malaria and tuberculosis deaths, as well as untold increases in cancer severity and deaths, hundreds of thousands more AIDS deaths, and likely millions more starvation deaths and children living hungry long-term. One study in The Lancet estimated up to 2.3 million additional deaths of children globally per year from lockdowns.

The reality is, it is impossible to just hit “pause” on an economy. An action like this must have millions of unforeseeable effects, and the phrase people are using to summarize some of these butterfly effects now is “supply chain issues.” Justin Hart gives an example of the effects of shutting down the manufacture of just one item — toilet paper.

Now imagine you’re an executive down at the fictitious TP supplier ‘Wipe World.’ The call comes in for the shutdown and you have some serious decisions to make. Production managers at the Big Roll Mill (your supplier for industrial reems of TP) have shut down and will eventually furlough most of the staff. Your shipping contracts will go into default, trucks with slabs of TP rolls tightly wrapped and ready to be dispensed will be called back or even mothballed. The proverbial target of your product is about to hit the fan.

…So a national shutdown leads to a run on toilet paper, caused by a sudden drop in at-work wiping, leading to massive manufacturing rework, supply-chain shifts, and a janitorial staff  forced to walk the halls of vacated buildings like Jack Torrance from The Shining, simulating a proxy population doing their business to keep everything from falling apart.

Anyone who had any familiarity with the insane complexity of making anything or any cooperative activity such as education should have logically deduced that “pausing” an entire society is entirely impossible and idiotic to even suggest. The pause will always have its own effects that make a restart at best really complicated and possibly never able to occur.

That’s already visible in the labor market. We all see the evidence that the shutdowns dampened working-age Americans’ already weak willingness to work. There are “help wanted” signs everywhere and yet another record high number of able-bodied, working-age people refusing to fill positions needed to resolve the problems lockdowns created.

Yes, the “stimulus” hush money played into that — another Covid response failure perpetuated by those in power — but so did the insane panic and the refusal to tell the truth that most working-age people were not at high risk from contracting Covid. So did the lockdowns, which like masks were used not as a health tool but as a manipulation tool, to frighten and control people. That’s also going to have effects that can never be fully undone, including deepening distrust of authorities and public institutions among the minority who were aware of the truth and its mass manipulation in the era of Covid.

This foolish Covid “cure” of lockdowns will end up being much, much worse than the disease. And it never needed to have been foisted on Americans and the entire West in the first place.

All it would have taken was a few more courageous leaders or a less demonic press to protect the American people from responding to a natural disaster with even bigger man-made disasters. But we don’t have either, so Americans punished themselves by suffering 10 times what was in store had we just followed common sense and ridden out the storm with more courage and honesty.

The least we can do to help rectify and correct our shameful behavior is be honest about what we’ve done. Acknowledging that one did wrong is the first essential step towards repentance, which is the first essential step towards restoration and wholeness.

One way would be to stop blaming Covid-19 for our irrational response to it. Instead of saying Covid or “the pandemic” caused the supply chain issues, like Biden does, we can start saying that lockdowns did so. To go a step farther, we can stop calling them “supply chain” issues at all, and call them “lockdown consequences.” That is the truth.

We can all also etch in our memories who exactly was complicit in leading us into panic and devastation, and hold them accountable. That is going to require some electoral changes, starting with the man at the top and going right down through state and federal “health” agencies. No funds for them until they clean house.

It also includes never again believing in any media outlet or writer who proved willing to lie and coerce others with lies. These people have forfeited their moral and professional authority.

Until there is accountability rooted in truth, which starts with telling the truth now and going forward and acting upon it prudently, our society’s vulnerability to mass hysteria will only get worse. That should keep up at night every person who has the power to hold these charlatans accountable and hasn’t yet used that power for its just ends.


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The Spell Is Broken: How The White House’s Mask Play Finally Exposed Covid’s True Culprits

The Spell Is Broken: How The White House’s Mask Play Finally Exposed Covid’s True Culprits

On a gray afternoon in May 2020, Santa Cruz, California was closed.

Its famous Boardwalk stood silent and still. Shops and restaurants were shut down; boarded up. Breweries lay dormant; church doors, closed.

Downtown, yellow police tape blocked off the public beach, while officers stood guard against trespassers. Teenagers trying to surf were forced to sneak 14 miles across the bay, where a 26-year-old man had been killed by a Great White Shark just days before.

Zelda's, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Martin Avila.

Zelda’s, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Martin Avila.

Reno, Nevada told a different story. Just a four-and-a-half-hour drive into the Sierra Nevadas, through Donner Pass, its bars remained closed, but its restaurants limped along with indoor service and spaced-out tables. Electronic signs outside darkened casinos flashed advertisements for loans to empty streets.

Eight hours east, past gold mines and through dust storms, young people drank beers in the courtyard of a Salt Lake City bar, while nearby, restaurant wholesalers struggled to make ends meet.

The bars had just reopened up north, too, in Jackson, Wyoming. To the east, in Pierre, South Dakota, they’d been open more than a month.

A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.

A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.

Across the nation, a mismashed patchwork of regulations decided who could open and who must close; who could worship, and who could travel. People and businesses alike lived and died depending not on the disease, but on which part of the patchwork they lived under.

Lives were spared, and lives were ruined, all based on the whims of state and local leaders, yet somehow, they weren’t held accountable. As if under some deep spell, we went about our days, blaming an invisible disease for the ills our ruling class brought down on us. No one was traveling; corporate advertising repeated the refrain: “we’re all in this together.”

As the months wore on, word started to spread. Florida was open! We were told by our leaders that everyone living there would surely die, as the pundits predicted, and deserve it too.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar. Martin Avila.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar. Martin Avila.

They didn’t, of course, and in December 2020, the children lucky enough to visit Florida were able to sit on Santa’s lap. It would be five long months before the since-disgraced governor of New York would announce moves to reopen the state’s bars and restaurants.

Over 2020, I was able to travel to 23 different American states, taking in Covid reactions ranging from crowded dance halls to boarded-up town centers. What shocked me most was the lack of anger from the people living under even the most draconian parts of the patchwork.

Sure, frustration was evident from the beginning. The tattooed San Franciscan bartender pouring me a cold beer in her new home, Pierre, South Dakota, for one. But by and large, the frustration was broad; the anger undirected.

Fenway Park. Photo by Frank Kavanagh.

John Hall poses for a photograph in an empty Boston. Photo by Frank Kavanagh.

The enemy was Covid, people reasoned. With few exceptions often focused on isolated instances of hypocrisy, the bureaucrats and politicians escaped the kind of rage due an official who ruins his citizens’ lives and livelihoods, masks their children, keeps them from their dying family, and criminalizes their gatherings. It was a disconnect, an obfuscation — but their culpability was real.

That disconnect, however, might finally — mercifully — be coming to an end.

The Liberal Connection

While Americans and airline workers of all stripes across the whole country cheered the end of arbitrary mask mandates, the White House was dour.

“How can we undo this?” they asked. On Wednesday night, the Biden Department of Justice launched an appeal. The order to wear masks on planes and public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control claimed, “remains necessary for the public health.”

Except, how could it? Even in Covid-caution bastions like Boston and New York, mask rules are long over. More than 112 million people watched the crowds at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Bars, restaurants, and even most concert venues across the country have long forgone the mask, and those that pay it lip service rarely do more than that.

How can we go about nearly every aspect of our daily lives safely, with our faces uncovered, but masks remain “necessary for public health” on public transit? There, virtually alone?

But when earlier this week Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked the White House press secretary to explain why reporters were sitting in a crowded room sans mask-mandate while American flyers still suffered under one, her reply dripped with derisionw.

“Well, Peter,” she said, “I’m not a doctor; you’re not a doctor that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today, until today.”

“OK,” she continued. “Not a doctor. Just making sure.”

Here’s her problem: The American public doesn’t need a doctor to know when contradictory guidance doesn’t make sense. The cult of experts we’ve lived under for over two years has become a theater of the absurd, and if a medical degree can explain the theatrics we’re seeing, then it’s not a degree worth trusting. Ordinary people are beginning to see that.

When this all began, many of us put our faith in those experts and their prognostications. They knew best, we reasoned. A lot of us didn’t notice the stark differences in policies from state to state, and when we did, as with Florida, a lot of folks believed the predictions of deserved death for those who dared to stray from the expert consensus.

None of it happened.

Most of us are now maskless, and if the spontaneous cheers and celebrations on airlines all across the country are any indication at all, a whole lot of us are deeply happy about this.

Sure, there will be resistance from the most fervent control acolytes. Obama family confidant Valerie Jarrett, for example, took a picture of herself in an expensive silk scarf, being driven by a professional driver, with the caption, “Wearing my mask no matter what non-scientists tell me I can do.”

But the working-class guy cheering from the middle seat near the back of a commercial airplane might not be so impressed with her courage — or interested in her opinion.

The architects of America’s disastrous Covid policy — the experts, the elites, the left-wing political class — have long had the luxury to demand an orthodox adherence to their ever-shifting safety regime. They’ve borne neither the brunt of their policies nor the blame for them. Until now: The folly of the airplane debacle has finally and completely exposed the little men and women behind the curtain.

Even while vulnerable Democrats break from the White House’s mask line ahead of the November midterms, the heads of the Democratic Party are championing nonsensical Covid restrictions — and finally beginning to earn the blame they’ve deserved for years now. The spell is, perhaps at long last, broken.

“Do you presume to criticize the great Oz, you ungrateful creatures?” the famous movie wizard once bellowed at Dorothy and her friends. “Think yourselves lucky that I am giving you [what you ask for] tomorrow instead of 20 years from now!”

“An order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for public health.”

“The great Oz has spoken.”

“You’re not a doctor.”

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

“No matter what non-scientists tell me what do to.”

“I am the great and powerful… Wizard… of Oz.”

“Humbug.”


Source

The Spell Is Broken: How The White House’s Mask Play Finally Exposed Covid’s True Culprits

The Spell Is Broken: How The White House’s Mask Play Finally Exposed Covid’s True Culprits

On a gray afternoon in May 2020, Santa Cruz, California was closed.

Its famous Boardwalk stood silent and still. Shops and restaurants were shut down; boarded up. Breweries lay dormant; church doors, closed.

Downtown, yellow police tape blocked off the public beach, while officers stood guard against trespassers. Teenagers trying to surf were forced to sneak 14 miles across the bay, where a 26-year-old man had been killed by a Great White Shark just days before.

Zelda's, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Martin Avila.

Zelda’s, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Martin Avila.

Reno, Nevada told a different story. Just a four-and-a-half-hour drive into the Sierra Nevadas, through Donner Pass, its bars remained closed, but its restaurants limped along with indoor service and spaced-out tables. Electronic signs outside darkened casinos flashed advertisements for loans to empty streets.

Eight hours east, past gold mines and through dust storms, young people drank beers in the courtyard of a Salt Lake City bar, while nearby, restaurant wholesalers struggled to make ends meet.

The bars had just reopened up north, too, in Jackson, Wyoming. To the east, in Pierre, South Dakota, they’d been open more than a month.

A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.

A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.

Across the nation, a mismashed patchwork of regulations decided who could open and who must close; who could worship, and who could travel. People and businesses alike lived and died depending not on the disease, but on which part of the patchwork they lived under.

Lives were spared, and lives were ruined, all based on the whims of state and local leaders, yet somehow, they weren’t held accountable. As if under some deep spell, we went about our days, blaming an invisible disease for the ills our ruling class brought down on us. No one was traveling; corporate advertising repeated the refrain: “we’re all in this together.”

As the months wore on, word started to spread. Florida was open! We were told by our leaders that everyone living there would surely die, as the pundits predicted, and deserve it too.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar. Martin Avila.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar. Martin Avila.

They didn’t, of course, and in December 2020, the children lucky enough to visit Florida were able to sit on Santa’s lap. It would be five long months before the since-disgraced governor of New York would announce moves to reopen the state’s bars and restaurants.

Over 2020, I was able to travel to 23 different American states, taking in Covid reactions ranging from crowded dance halls to boarded-up town centers. What shocked me most was the lack of anger from the people living under even the most draconian parts of the patchwork.

Sure, frustration was evident from the beginning. The tattooed San Franciscan bartender pouring me a cold beer in her new home, Pierre, South Dakota, for one. But by and large, the frustration was broad; the anger undirected.

Fenway Park. Photo by Frank Kavanagh.

John Hall poses for a photograph in an empty Boston. Photo by Frank Kavanagh.

The enemy was Covid, people reasoned. With few exceptions often focused on isolated instances of hypocrisy, the bureaucrats and politicians escaped the kind of rage due an official who ruins his citizens’ lives and livelihoods, masks their children, keeps them from their dying family, and criminalizes their gatherings. It was a disconnect, an obfuscation — but their culpability was real.

That disconnect, however, might finally — mercifully — be coming to an end.

The Liberal Connection

While Americans and airline workers of all stripes across the whole country cheered the end of arbitrary mask mandates, the White House was dour.

“How can we undo this?” they asked. On Wednesday night, the Biden Department of Justice launched an appeal. The order to wear masks on planes and public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control claimed, “remains necessary for the public health.”

Except, how could it? Even in Covid-caution bastions like Boston and New York, mask rules are long over. More than 112 million people watched the crowds at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Bars, restaurants, and even most concert venues across the country have long forgone the mask, and those that pay it lip service rarely do more than that.

How can we go about nearly every aspect of our daily lives safely, with our faces uncovered, but masks remain “necessary for public health” on public transit? There, virtually alone?

But when earlier this week Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked the White House press secretary to explain why reporters were sitting in a crowded room sans mask-mandate while American flyers still suffered under one, her reply dripped with derisionw.

“Well, Peter,” she said, “I’m not a doctor; you’re not a doctor that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today, until today.”

“OK,” she continued. “Not a doctor. Just making sure.”

Here’s her problem: The American public doesn’t need a doctor to know when contradictory guidance doesn’t make sense. The cult of experts we’ve lived under for over two years has become a theater of the absurd, and if a medical degree can explain the theatrics we’re seeing, then it’s not a degree worth trusting. Ordinary people are beginning to see that.

When this all began, many of us put our faith in those experts and their prognostications. They knew best, we reasoned. A lot of us didn’t notice the stark differences in policies from state to state, and when we did, as with Florida, a lot of folks believed the predictions of deserved death for those who dared to stray from the expert consensus.

None of it happened.

Most of us are now maskless, and if the spontaneous cheers and celebrations on airlines all across the country are any indication at all, a whole lot of us are deeply happy about this.

Sure, there will be resistance from the most fervent control acolytes. Obama family confidant Valerie Jarrett, for example, took a picture of herself in an expensive silk scarf, being driven by a professional driver, with the caption, “Wearing my mask no matter what non-scientists tell me I can do.”

But the working-class guy cheering from the middle seat near the back of a commercial airplane might not be so impressed with her courage — or interested in her opinion.

The architects of America’s disastrous Covid policy — the experts, the elites, the left-wing political class — have long had the luxury to demand an orthodox adherence to their ever-shifting safety regime. They’ve borne neither the brunt of their policies nor the blame for them. Until now: The folly of the airplane debacle has finally and completely exposed the little men and women behind the curtain.

Even while vulnerable Democrats break from the White House’s mask line ahead of the November midterms, the heads of the Democratic Party are championing nonsensical Covid restrictions — and finally beginning to earn the blame they’ve deserved for years now. The spell is, perhaps at long last, broken.

“Do you presume to criticize the great Oz, you ungrateful creatures?” the famous movie wizard once bellowed at Dorothy and her friends. “Think yourselves lucky that I am giving you [what you ask for] tomorrow instead of 20 years from now!”

“An order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for public health.”

“The great Oz has spoken.”

“You’re not a doctor.”

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

“No matter what non-scientists tell me what do to.”

“I am the great and powerful… Wizard… of Oz.”

“Humbug.”


Source

Federal Judge Nukes Biden’s ‘Unlawful’ Mask Mandate That’s Muzzled Travelers For More Than A Year

Federal Judge Nukes Biden’s ‘Unlawful’ Mask Mandate That’s Muzzled Travelers For More Than A Year

A federal judge in Florida declared President Joe Biden’s sweeping federal travel mask mandate null and void on Monday after she determined that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grossly exceeded its power by muzzling Americans for more than a year.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that “the Mandate exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.”

“Because ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,’ the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate,” Mizelle concluded.

Biden first requested the rule for planes, trains, ride-sharing vehicles, and other forms of transportation via an executive order just one day after assuming office in 2021. Since then, the government agency has extended the mandate period four times.

The CDC justified its rule by claiming that masks blocked “exhaled virus” and that Covid-19 in the U.S. was so rampant that a 30-day comment period would be inappropriate. But as Mizelle noted, the CDC’s mask guidance was broad and allowed for flawed face coverings that don’t stop viral spread. She also noted that at the time of the rule’s creation, Covid-19 case numbers in the U.S. were decreasing.

“The Mask Mandate’s Failure To Provide Notice And Comment Was Not Harmless Error,” one of the headers in the ruling noted.

The Health Freedom Defense Fund and other plaintiffs who struggle with conditions not conducive to mask-wearing challenged the rule in July 2021 as a gross abuse of power by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They cited the CDC’s failure to allow public input on the rule in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act and failure to act within the parameters set by the Public Health Services Act of 1944 as the biggest reasons to void the mandate.

Mizelle largely agreed with these allegations and noted that the CDC does not hold the statutory power nor the authority to enlist “local governments, airport employees, flight attendants, and even ride-sharing drivers” to remove and detain passengers who wouldn’t wear a mask “all on the suspicion that they will spread a disease.”

“In short, [passengers’] freedom of movement is curtailed in a way similar to detention and quarantine,” Mizelle wrote before noting that disease detention traditionally only applies to international travelers. “And yet, in this statute, the CDC finds a power over public health that ‘was traditionally understood — and still is understood — as a function of state police power.’”

As Mizelle noted, no court had yet ruled on the mask mandate but there’s plenty of evidence and previous rulings to suggest the CDC overstepped its bounds.

“Within the past two years, the CDC has found … the power to shut down the cruise ship industry, stop landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid their rent, and require that persons using public conveyances wear masks,” Mizelle wrote. “Courts have concluded that the first two of these measures exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority.”


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

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China Abuses Its People With New Lockdowns As It Struggles To Contain Covid Surge

China Abuses Its People With New Lockdowns As It Struggles To Contain Covid Surge

The Chinese Community Party’s leader Xi Jinping declared China’s victory over Covid-19 in March 2020. Yet, more than two years later, the Chinese government is still trying to contain another Covid outbreak in many parts of the nation. Its struggle exposes the fundamental flaws of China’s political system. 

Back in March 2020, when Xi took his victory lap in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the CCP propaganda machine portrayed it as indisputable evidence of the superiority of China’s political system and Xi’s leadership. Even some in the west parroted Beijing’s talking points, claiming the Covid response “has fully demonstrated the superiority of Chinese governance.” 

To maintain China’s image of success, the Chinese government has insisted on a “Zero Covid” policy, relying on mandatory vaccination, testing, quarantines, and border control to isolate the entire nation from the rest of the world for more than two years. The long isolation has led to low herd immunity in China. 

The Chinese government also insisted on using Chinese-made vaccines, even though these vaccines had gone through limited clinical trials and had reported low efficacy rates. The combined effect of low herd immunity and Chinese vaccines’ low efficacy is that the Chinese population has become especially vulnerable to more infectious Covid variants such as Delta and Omicron. 

More Lockdowns in China

Since last fall, China has experienced another Covid outbreak in many parts of the country and responded by putting multiple cities and regions under lockdowns, even though plenty of evidence, including a Johns Hopkins University study, has shown that lockdowns are “not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic.”

On March 26, the government of Shanghai (China’s largest city, with 25 million people) announced it would impose a lockdown in two phases over the next week and a half. Before this announcement, some sectors in Shanghai were already under lockdown for weeks. The images and news of the Chinese government’s cruel way of enforcing some of the most nonsensical policies have shocked the world. 

Kids Quarantined without Parents

The policy that caused most condemnation is that children who are seven or younger and tested positive for Covid must be quarantined at public health centers separated from their parents. When government workers forcefully took a kid away from home, they always promised the parents that they would take good care of the child and send the parents updates. In reality, parents said they often didn’t know their kids’ whereabouts and hadn’t seen their faces or heard their voices for weeks. 

Each nurse is reportedly assigned to look after up to 20 babies and toddlers at those quarantine centers. Nurses have been so overwhelmed that they neglect to look after many children’s needs. One mom said her three-year-old son was left alone to manage everything from eating to going to the bathroom all by himself during his 16-day quarantine at one of those centers. An unverified video of neglected children crying and screaming at one of those quarantine centers went viral in China recently and resulted in widespread public outrage. 

When the government finally released some of the children back home, these kids have exhibited Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms (PTSD). One mom shared online that after her 17-month-old daughter returned, the toddler treated mommy as a stranger and screamed whenever the mother tried to bathe her. Many anxious parents are now concerned about the mental health of their young children and their physical well-being. 

Horrified by how inhuman the policy was, the French consulate in Shanghai, on behalf of several European nations, urged the Shanghai government not to separate children from their parents in the name of quarantine. Yet a Shanghai health official defended this policy as a critical step to virus “prevention and control work.”

Shanghai Starved

Besides being separated from their young children, Shanghai residents have many other complaints. First, many households are experiencing starvation because government workers blockade apartment buildings and wouldn’t let residents go out to buy groceries. Authorities’ promise of delivering food and necessities to each household has often failed to come through.

Alice Su, a senior correspondent for The Economist, tweeted that “Shanghai residents go to their balconies to sing & protest lack of supplies. A drone appears: ‘Please comply w covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.’” 

Second, people who experienced medical emergencies or have chronic diseases such as asthma couldn’t receive timely medical care, and some reportedly ended up losing their lives. Third, police and government health workers abuse their power, with reports of them illegally entering and searching people’s homes and beating or shaming non-compliant residents.

Fourth, there’s a growing mental health crisis in the city. Some residents took their own lives after being locked up in their apartment buildings for weeks. For the older generation, the brutal and inhuman way that Chinese authorities enforce absurd Covid restrictions reminds them of the abuses from the Red Guards they endured during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Lockdowns Aren’t Working

Shanghai’s harshly enforced Covid restrictions have failed to stop the virus’s spread. As of April 5, the city reported more than 13,000 new Covid cases, double the number before the city’s lockdown. The Shanghai government decided to extend lockdowns indefinitely, which means the misery and suffering Shanghai residents have endured for the last two weeks will continue. 

Besides human suffering, there are economic concerns. Shanghai is the most influential finance and international trade center globally, accounting for about 4 percent of China’s GDP. Throughout China, regions experiencing Shanghai-style lockdowns represent about one-third of China’s GDP. These lockdowns are estimated to cost the Chinese economy $46 billion per month in economic output.

China’s struggle to contain the Covid outbreak 2.0 exposes the fundamental flaw of its political system. The country is an authoritarian regime run by one party and its dictator Xi Jinping. By declaring an early victory over Covid more than two years ago, Xi had tied the victory over Covid to the credibility of his leadership. 

Xi is set to begin his third term later this year after eliminating the two-term limit of his position, and he desperately needs to demonstrate his “Zero Covid” policy a success. Therefore, he sees the current Covid outbreak as an embarrassment that needs to be eliminated at all costs.

He also faces little consequence for his actions, no matter how ridiculous or how much harm they cause. There is no election to hold him accountable, no independent media to challenge his policies, and anyone who seeks to speak truth to power has already been suppressed. The Chinese government will continue to brutally enforce its ineffective Covid restrictions as long as Xi deems necessary. 

Economists are concerned that China’s continuing “Zero Covid” approach will slow China’s economic growth this year and will hurt the global economic recovery, worsen the supply chain issues, and increase the risk of a worldwide recession. As we all learned from Covid, the rest of the world is never immune from bad things that happen in China. 


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Biden’s Airline Mask Mandate Is About To Be Grounded If DeSantis And 20 Other States Have Anything To Say About It

Biden’s Airline Mask Mandate Is About To Be Grounded If DeSantis And 20 Other States Have Anything To Say About It

Just one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education bill, the Republican is now suing the federal government for its never-ending mask mandate for public transportation and airlines.

More than two years since Covid-19 reached our shores, the Biden administration is still ordering that Americans wear face coverings on planes and to commute. After the Trump administration opted not to require masks on public transport, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order in late January 2021, which prompted one from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in February 2021 shortly after Biden’s inauguration. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says these federal agencies “never had the power to issue” these mandates.

“President Biden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed, and unlawful travel policies are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation,” Moody said, adding in a Tuesday press conference that “almost 75 percent of these unruly, sometimes violent, incidents are based on this unlawful mask mandate. I know that if you travel at all, everywhere you go, people are frustrated and taking it out on the employees that are charged with enforcing this rule, that they have to wear a mask when this is an unfounded rule and order.”

TSA’s rule was supposed to expire in May of last year but was instead extended to September, then January of 2022, then March, and now April. DeSantis and a horde of other states are trying to change that by arguing that the federal mask mandate goes beyond the CDC’s authority and violates state laws that ban forced masking.

Their complaint, which is filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, looks to stop the public transportation mandates and obtain a permanent injunction against their enforcement.

“It’s not something that’s grounded in any science,” DeSantis said during the press conference, showing that just like you don’t have to be a biologist to know what a woman is, you don’t have to be a virologist to understand basic sense. “If you have somebody sitting in the window seat and they’re nibbling on peanuts for two and a half hours, they can have their mask down. You have the person in the middle seat that is not eating, and if they just want to read a magazine without their mask, then somehow that would be a big problem.”

It isn’t just the Florida Republican going after the Biden administration solo, however; his state is joined by 20 others in trying to reign in the federal government’s massive expansion of their own power under the guise of safety. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia are all plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which goes after the TSA, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, among others.

“Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” DeSantis said. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”


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While Everyone Else Panicked Two Years Ago, The Federalist Was Right About Lockdowns Doing More Harm Than Good

While Everyone Else Panicked Two Years Ago, The Federalist Was Right About Lockdowns Doing More Harm Than Good

None of us two years ago knew exactly how unprecedented lockdowns adamantly advised by the world’s most credentialed people and top politicians would change history. But some of us knew these “experts” generally didn’t deserve to be believed. Only two years later, we’ve been vindicated, and it’s likely we’ll continue to be vindicated as the evil effects of lockdowns continue to pound Americans and the world with suffering.

On March 19, 2020, California became the first U.S. state to implement mass lockdowns, upon the advice of President Trump’s Covid advisor, Dr. Deborah Birx. That same day, as fear became a social contagion more potent than even Covid-19, The Federalist published an article I wrote titled, “Will The Costs Of A Great Depression Outweigh The Risks Of Coronavirus?

Two years later, we know now that Birx — and everyone who listened to her — was completely wrong, and The Federalist was completely right. Here’s part of what I wrote at the time, with limited reliable information available:

We’re acting as if coronavirus is for sure going to amount to the worst-case scenario without knowing that is true. If we all do shelter in place for the next year and a half while politicians pass the equivalent of the Obama-Bush stimulus that suffocated the economy 12 years ago, the ‘experts’ will insist the nation’s long-term ability to provide for itself was required to save millions of lives. There will be no way to prove them wrong, even if they are.

It seems a fool’s errand to pre-emptively and indefinitely risk everyone’s livelihoods without hard information about what is happening and a risk assessment that includes the serious dangers of killing the U.S. economy, not what computers project will happen with lots of missing, unreliable, and rapidly changing information.

I also pointed out that the data available at the same time lockdowns were rolling across the United States and world showed that those with severe pre-existing diseases and the very elderly were the most vulnerable to Covid cases, while children appeared to be at very little risk. That has persisted. It means the data was available to support a decision not to lock down from the very beginning, and nearly no politician heeded it.

“Would it be more prudent to severely shelter those at risk while the rest of us keep the country going?” I asked on March 19, 2020. “We can take steps like this while not choosing to crush small businesses and employees who cannot telework for one or two months, let alone 18.”

Unlike the hysteria-mongering “experts” and the politicians who listened to them, my common-sense assessment holds up two years later, with lots more information available (and lots more apparently being withheld by the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies, which should tell you something). There is now overwhelming evidence that lockdowns caused more global death and suffering than the competing proposal of focused protection for the vulnerable would have.

A June 2021 study by world-renowned scientists across 43 countries, for example, found that lockdown length and strength were correlated with excess deaths, often due to delayed or missed medical care. A January 2021 study also by world-class scientists found that lockdowns did not reduce Covid deaths.

Besides their at best negligible effect at reducing Covid hospitalizations and deaths, lockdowns caused additional and completely unnecessary deaths from delayed or foregone medical care, as well as through starvation due to drastically increased world poverty. According to also-vindicated legitimate experts like Dr. Martin Kulldorff, lockdowns may have also caused additional Covid deaths due to prolonging the outbreak. In short, lockdowns cost lives, while at best saving none.

Various studies estimate lockdowns will have caused millions more malaria and tuberculosis deaths, as well as untold increases in cancer severity and deaths, hundreds of thousands more AIDS deaths, and likely millions more starvation deaths and children living hungry long-term. One study in The Lancet estimated up to 2.3 million additional deaths of children globally per year from lockdowns.

Politicians lied, children died. According to “the science,” that is not hyperbole.

Not only did lockdowns cost lives while likely not reducing Covid deaths, they also caused incalculable suffering from personal costs, such as the loss of friends, strained family relationships, and the inability to hold grandma’s hand while she died or one’s wife’s hand while she gave birth.

While my husband was mercifully allowed to attend the birth of our youngest child in May 2020, we were initially told he wouldn’t be. That atop threats to his job and us both forced into working from home with a horde of de-schooled small children made the last months of that pregnancy almost unbearably anxious.

I almost had a nervous breakdown on the phone once with my midwife. It was traumatizing. It destroyed the trust between me and my birth team that is often crucial for a healthy birth. As history often goes, the people who did this to us all have only as a class gained power, funding, and prestige upon the wreckage they made of millions, billions of human lives.

So how did I, a random journalist from the Midwest with zero scientific credentials, make a more prudent guess about public policy than most highly-placed advisors with Phds and long careers in fields such as statistics and public health? I suspect it’s my aversion to groupthink.

Here at The Federalist, every single day we focus on epidemics, not of physical health, but of information warfare. My Federalist-trained news sense, not to mention my flyover-country common sense and homeschool upbringing’s liberation from peer conditioning, were all blaring category five alarms over the ruling class’s wild and apparently unopposed rush into lockdowns.

Stampede in one stage-managed direction at the alarmist demands of “experts” who repeatedly failed upwards? Check. Demands to do something (shut down all of society indefinitely) that utterly defies common sense and has never before been attempted? Check. Wild and unverifiable claims of catastrophic consequences for not supporting the stampede? Check. Massive social pressure against anyone who raises valid objections or even questions? Check.

(By the way, anyone paying attention is noticing right about now that all these factors are operative right now in the direction of getting the United States to go to war with Russia ostensibly on behalf of Ukraine. That’s what it is currently. It will be something else in a few weeks at most, unless the push to enlarge the war succeeds in dragging out this hysteria longer.)

Covid might have been deemed essentially “over” because perpetuating the overweening fear of it is no longer stampeding Americans in the direction the ruling class wants them to go. But the factors that accelerated our nation and the world’s loss of its everloving mind haven’t gone away. If anything, they have intensified. The organs of censorship and repression are only stronger in the wake of the Covid craze.

Don’t think Communist China, the non-stupid members of the American ruling class, and all their fellow travelers won’t hesitate to do it again. Surely, they already are. As long as this dangerous spiral continues, The Federalist will provide sense and insight to anyone who wants to observe the people behind the curtains and their true motivations instead of the show they’re putting on to keep us distracted.


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