Explosive New COVID-19 Stats from Orange County Destroy Gov. Newsom’s Newest Shutdowns

New numbers from Orange County completely destroy the COVID-19 myths perpetuated by politicians like California Governor Gavin Newsom, who used COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as justification to rollback on re-opening the Golden State’s economy.

The recently released statistics for Orange County – published by the Orange County Register – show the mortality rate broken down by age. There are approximately 26,000 cases and 433 deaths as of July 14. Almost 80% of the deaths were people who were 65 years and older. Approximately 50% of these deaths were in nursing homes. In the 18 to 24 year old demographic, the deaths were less than 1% and amazingly, in people below age 17, there were zero deaths. With these kind of figures, how in the world can you justify closing down schools in September when zero deaths occurred below the age of 17? You can’t.

And if it’s happening in Orange County, an area with a population of more than 3 million people, it’s reasonable to extrapolate the data and say it’s happening in other counties Gov. Newsom shut down, too. Statistics are not that easy to be broken down in places like L.A., so for now, this is what we have to go on. It makes sense Gov. Newsom would ignore these statistics because they don’t fit his narrative of COVID-19 getting worse and the necessity to completely shut down California.

Image via OC Registeer

Between the ages of 18 and 24, there was a less than 1% mortality rate, and the number may be lower when you factor in co-morbidities, which we know from past studies is a large factor in COVID-19 deaths. Even at 1%, many colleges will be closed down or forced to do virtual learning.

It’s also amazing to look at the mortality rate broken down by ethnicity; almost 50% of the deaths in Orange County were among Hispanics, which lends credence to my previous article explaining that many of the deaths in California are a result of the extremely high COVID-19 numbers happening in Mexico right now. It’s not difficult to come across the border because of dual citizenship, (an exception to the current COVID-19-induced immigration ban), visas to work in the agricultural fields, or simply to cross illegally for medical treatment, which is also an exception to the immigration ban. The border isn’t locked down.

Interestingly, according to the data most of the outbreaks in Orange County occurred in Santa Ana or the Richmond area. Caucasians make up 65% of the population in Orange County and yet they account for only 25% of the deaths in the region and also are just 25% of the new Orange County cases.

These newly released numbers make it obvious that Gov. Newsom’s order to close down Orange County is not based on any scientific or statistical analysis. In fact, the numbers also prove schools should reopen in September as the virus does not affect young people. This political game must end. These numbers show we can win back our once-strong economy because the threat of COVID-19 is nothing more than a way for politicians to wield power.

And for those arguing that California is approaching New York’s COVID-19 numbers, a reminder: The mortality rate in New York City per million is about 3,000. In Orange County, even with the latest numbers, it’s approximately 130. It’s crazy to think that Orange County numbers even approach NYC. Is the reaction in California based on fear or is it just politics? If we follow the Politics of Duh, we open.

UPDATED: Is COVID-19 also a Mental Disorder? (Because California Has Gone Insane)

We are now approximately four months into the shut downs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the mortality rate a small fraction of what it was at the virus’ peak in April, you’d expect our societal fear to diminish but things do not seem to be getting much better. If anything, there is more paranoia and misinformation concerning this virus than ever.

As I mentioned in a previous post, they want to keep schools shut down. All forms of live entertainment and sports are basically non-existent right now. You would think with four months of available statistics and far more knowledge about this disease than we had in March, people would be realizing the worst is over; the “pandemic” was never as bad as so-called medical authorities like the Imperial College of London and the CDC predicted.

Like the title of the article suggests, COVID-19 is no longer a virus but a complete mental disorder and mindset of fear; the reaction to COVID-19 has become synonymous with totally irrational and crazy thinking in light of the real statistics and science. Maybe there should be a special medical billing code to also classify fear of COVID-19 as a mental disorder.

When the crisis began, there were estimates of more than 2 million deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States alone – at this point we are well below 150,000. Even with our present mortality total, there are major questions about the validity of a COVID-19 diagnosis because any time COVID-19 is suspected even without testing it is put down as a COVID-19 death. The number also does not factor in co-morbidities; even if a person dies from cancer and they test positive for COVID-19, the death is considered a COVID-19 mortality and added to the total figure. In addition, up to half of the deaths occurred among nursing home facility residents. Those below the age of 50 make up a small percentage of the overall deaths.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/california/california.htm

To narrow our view on this issue, let’s focus on one state for now: California. In the Golden State there is almost mass hysteria about the new outbreaks of cases and small spikes in the mortality rate. As discussed in my previous article, because COVID-19 is peaking right now in Mexico, many may be coming across the border for medical attention in California, which would explain the increase in cases. The number of deaths in California is constantly drilled into the heads of residents as though it is the worst thing that has ever happened. Just the deaths from homicides and drug overdoses is equal to the amount of people who died of COVID-19 in California.

On June 13, California Governor Gavin Newsom, rolled back re-opening and declared a “modification mode” on his original stay at home order. The Governor announced a complete shutdown of fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops and malls. His justification for back-tracking on re-opening was that cases are risings and hospitalizations are up. However, I’m not sure what numbers he’s looking at but he’s not examining the most important figure: the total daily mortality rate, which is still low and has actually gone down, on average, in the last few days. Yesterday, it was 24, today it was 45, according to Worldometers.info.

The case numbers that Gov. Newsom is using to justify another shutdown don’t mean much. (That was already explained thoroughly in this article.) In a state of 40 million people, even the total death rate is small and doesn’t justify completely destroying an economy. Finally, a strong argument can be made that this so-called “surge” in case numbers is simply the virus taking its final course. We’ve never before studied a virus at this level of detail, (when was the last time millions of Americans got tested for a virus over a short period of time?) It could very well be that the virus is no longer as potent as it once was, it’s simply moving through the population as viruses do but we’re hyper-aware of its trajectory because of the media spotlight put on COVID-19 and the daily reportage of case numbers and deaths.

Plus, COVID-19, despite what the media might say, is not actually the only way to die. If we add other causes of deaths such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, accidents and suicides, this number is many times larger. The truth is, there are so many ways people can die that if we just thought about this all day we would never leave our homes and would hide under our beds and cower in fear.

Every day, the media blasts the number of daily deaths on our TV screens and mobile phones; it’s a top Apple news story almost every day. Yet we do not see statistics showing us how many people died in a given day from other diseases or accidents or  drug overdose. Day in and day out, it’s COVID deaths drumming more fear into our brains, telling us if we don’t wear a mask, if we don’t social distance religiously we’re going to die.

Forget the science even though scientific studies have shown masks don’t work, (one of the latest studies was actually done by the CDC). Social distancing, using the words of that all-knowing genius Dr. Fauci, has to be rigorously proven using a control group, and because it is completely untested, we can pretty much agree the concept is basically bogus. Remember Dr. Fauci saying claims that hydroxychloroquine is effective are ridiculous because it has to be tested with control groups. Well, shouldn’t his own logic be used on the unproven idea of social distancing before we force it upon the entire public as a means of virus-spread mitigation?

The point is this: When we are born into this earth we always face the possibility of death but it cannot deter us from living life. Our species has conquered many horrible threats since the beginning of time and guess what? We survived. We are now in a new mindset of group-think brought on by the panic-mongering media and corrupt politicians using fear of the unknown to control us and to achieve greater power. It is not a coincidence that we are only four months away from the elections and the drums of fear are beating stronger than ever. If they can just keep the people down a little bit longer, then maybe they can influence their voting preferences and assume power.

It’s sad to see what has happened to our society, and to witness the collective mental breakdown of U.S. citizens who now live in absolute fear of being infected by other people so they stay far away from anyone and think that masks and lockdowns will protect them. Our economy is still basically shut down with many industries in utter ruin. It seems as though the media and corrupt politicians have won, creating the perfect situation to depress people. Take away their ability to prosper and you open the pathway to a major political change in this country.

Using science and statistics, the “pandemic” was a bad flu season but it was treated as though it was the end of civilization as we know it. The only country that seems to have benefited from this is China (where the disease was started or released from) and online companies such as Amazon that are seeing stock price go sky high. Fear can be paralyzing and totally demoralizing but we have to use our brains. We cannot be swayed by the irrational and cynical pressure around us. It’s time to just say enough is enough and return to some degree of normalcy. Life cannot be about the constant fear of death; let’s choose to focus on the joy of living.

Are Deaths Coming from South of the Border?

Even though cases are rising drastically in four states – Arizona, Texas, California and Florida – most of the uptick in cases is benign, unaccompanied by a concurrent increase in mortality. (I explained my theory of the rise in cases here.)

There’s a reason for the daily mortality count in these four states: In border states like Texas, Arizona and California there has been a large jump in the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico crossing the border with COVID-19.

In the Politics of Duh world, we say this makes sense. It fits with the statistics that are now being reported. Mexico is currently experiencing one of the biggest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. Even though immigration is supposedly blocked from Mexico due to the virus, there is an important exception: If illegal immigrants come to this country in need of medical care, we do not turn them away. This is defined as an “essential crossing” and the Mexico-U.S. land border, while closed, is still open to “essential crossings.” According to a legal document published as a Notice on the U.S. Federal Register, one component that satisfies an “essential crossing” is if “individuals [are] traveling for medical purposes, (e.g. to receive medical treatment in the United States).”

Interesting, very interesting.

In June, The New York Times published an article detailing how hospitals in California are being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients who are coming across the border. If this happened in mid-June in California when cases were not as high as they are now then it’s logical to expect it’s happening in Texas and Arizona, also border states. In June, this article reported that hundreds of border agents were infected with COVID-19, which also fits into this narrative. Mexico is a Third World country with an infamously terrible healthcare system. Of course people would be incentivized to cross the border for better medical care in U.S. hospitals, especially if they know they won’t be forced back to Mexico due to the essential crossing exception.

Total mortalities by country, as reported on worldometers.info for July 9, 2020

And what about Florida? Well, let’s talk about Brazil. Like Mexico, Brazil is also in the midst of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. So it would also be sensible to assume Brazilians are traveling to the United States (and specifically, to Miami) for its superior medical treatment. Most of the increase in deaths in Florida are in the Miami-Dade area, which is the primary destination for travelers from Brazil.

President Trump banned travel from Brazil to the U.S. on May 24, 2020. However, there were many exceptions and loopholes to the immigration law, which you can view here.

This rise in cases in the border states is being used by some politicians to justify keeping states closed down or even reverse re-opening guidelines. Dr. Fauci, who has been wrong about almost everything all pandemic long, told The Wall Street Journal today, “I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down.”

Despite what politicians and authorities say, the facts should help us understand that the rise in mortality is not due to the progression of the virus in the United States and instead is being caused by outside factors. How else can you explain the fact that the rises are only occurring in certain pockets? Why don’t we see a similar rise in Georgia, which famously opened the earliest of all the U.S. states?

There’s absolutely no breakdown of mortality in those four states by nationality, (it would probably be illegal to disclose that information or even frowned upon to even investigate it); we’re left with using our deductive reasoning skills to figure out why, at the exact time Mexico and Brazil are surging, we’re seeing subsequent case numbers rise in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. I don’t believe this is a coincidence, I believe it’s symptomatic of America’s status as a beacon of hope and the great, strong country we all know it to be.

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School’s Out Forever?

Who could’ve predicted the famous 1972 Alice Cooper verse, “school’s out for summer / school’s out forever,” would turn into the 2020 motto for those who are now basically trying to keep schools shut indefinitely?

Many educators and so-called medical professionals are advocating for either not opening schools in the fall or a very, very modified form of learning via online classrooms. Recently, Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, spoke about the danger of re-opening schools in the fall, warning that it imposes too high of a health risk for teachers. His solution? School should basically be closed until there is no danger from the coronavirus.

This attitude is also apparent in institutes of higher education; Harvard University just announced plans to limit their reopening in the fall to freshman only. The university will provide online courses to the rest of its student body. (Incidentally, despite this modified form of learning, tuition will not be lowered.) 

There are many studies both in the United States and around the world that underscore the importance of social interaction in classrooms for young people and conclude online learning is not only ineffective but also psychologically detrimental to students. In 2015, during a time far removed from the COVID-19 outbreak and its subsequent politically charged theories about education, a study conducted by Stanford University showed that online learning was ineffective and actually harmful. The study showed that in a one year period of online learning, the amount of acquired knowledge was so diminutive, it was as if the students had not gone to school at all. And the students who are hit the hardest by the school shutdowns are are those who come from poorer socioeconomic groups – exactly the students who need education the most in order to succeed. In conversation with Dr. Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institution, Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw asked the doctor about the impact of virtual learning on lower-class families. The doctor explained that many of these families do not have the means (an iPad, an available computer or even a quiet spot within their living space) to institute online learning for their children.

“[Closing schools] has nothing to do with the children and that point must be made loud and clear,” Dr. Atlas said. “In fact, it’s harmful to the children.”

So, OK. We’ve established that online schooling is not great (or even feasible for some) and that schooling is extremely necessary for students’ educational, emotional and psychological well-being. But while politicians and officials seem to be ignoring these facts, elsewhere in the world the push for a return to traditional education is getting a brighter spotlight. In the UK, for instance, many pediatricians were pleading with the government to reopen schools for the health and intellectual good of young people. They even deemed it a “national priority.”

There is no question the collective mental health of students is suffering because of these prolonged shutdowns. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a leading pediatrician who directs the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and is editor-in-chief of the prominent medical journal JAMA Pediatrics published a piece where he eloquently outlines the long-term, lasting outcomes of these shutdowns on children. In an article published by NPR, the publication writes: “[Dr. Christakis] argues that the risk to children’s learning, social-emotional development and mental health need to be better balanced with the risks of spreading the coronavirus.”

Convinced yet? No? Then let’s get onto the science of re-opening the schools. It is now July. We have ample data and statistical analysis to show young people have been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Actually, there have been no fatalities under the age of nine in the U.S. There have also been no fatalities in the U.S. not attributed to co-morbidities for people under the age of 21.

The common influenza has been much deadlier when it comes to young people; COVID-19, as we well know, affects the very elderly and sick. About 50% of the deaths in the U.S. occurred in assisted living homes. The science for keeping schools locked down is just not there, especially when you look at studies – like this one conducted in France – that show children are highly unlikely to get the disease and just as unlikely to spread it.

Ah, but what about the teachers? As Dr. Atlas explained in Congressman Crenshaw’s podcast, half of all teachers are 41 years of age or younger and 82% are under 55. “We know the risk from COVID-19, the fatality rate for COVID-19 for people less than 60 years old is less than or equal to the seasonal flu,” Dr. Atlas said, adding that “there is no significant risk to the teacher population.”

For those teachers who are worried – especially those over the age of 60 – they can either not teach and allow younger teachers to take over their duties or they can simply advise via a computer screen while a teaching assistant manages the in-person classroom. This way, we can open the schools, which the science says we should do.

Here is a chart from May showing that only three people out of 15,000 under the age of 15 died of COVID-19 in New York City. The following statistics illustrate the incredibly small chance young people have of dying from COVID-19.

Statistics via worldmeters.info

In the real world, school re-openings have not triggered large increases at all in COVID-19. In France, it has been conclusively shown that reopening the schools did not put the students or teachers at risk.

One ploy to ramp up the fear has been scaring people about a rare disease in young people called Kawasaki Syndrome. This is yet another fear tactic to panic people into keeping children isolated and out of a normal school environment. The noted Swiss epidemiologist Dr. Sadler explained when someone gets COVID-19, T cells begin to attack the virus-infested cells all over the body. In very rare instances, this can lead to an exaggerated immune response called a Cytokine Storm. Also very rarely this can happen in small children, which is known as Kawasaki Syndrome. It’s interesting, however, that this super rare syndrome is very easily remedied. The infected children receive antibodies from antibody-positive donors and they’re cured.

There is simply no scientific or educational reason to keep schools closed or resort to virtual learning. Let’s recap: The young do not get sick and rarely pass COVID-19 on to others – certainly teachers under 60 have nothing to fear, unless they’re also just as terrified of getting the flu. And if older teachers are fearful they simply don’t have to teach. There are plenty of people who could use the jobs right now. With the science disproving school shutdowns at every conceivable turn, the only reason to keep schools closed has to be political. It’s simply another tactic to stall and basically kill the resurgence of the American economy. This nefarious plot must be countered with strong scientific evidence. The mental, physical and educational well-being of our youth depend on it. Hopefully Alice Cooper was wrong with his lyric and school is not out forever.

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UPDATED: Cases Are Up, Let’s Celebrate

Florida is a great example of what happens when people are put into isolation for months and then suddenly allowed to mingle in bars, beaches, restaurants and other public places.

In isolation, the body’s immune system stops functioning properly. (For more on this, Science Alert details what happens to the brain and body in isolation.)

Deaths in Florida over the last two weeks varied from about 25 per day to a high of 68 per day. When you look at these figures, they’re not very high in a state with a population of nearly 22,000,000 people. In addition, many of the people who tragically died were not even tested for COVID-19 yet classified as COVID-19 deaths because their doctors suspected it. (Yes, the classification is that hazy and unscientific.)

Regardless of the actual recent death toll in Florida due to COVID-19, there’s a question these numbers bring up: Why has the case number in Florida risen so highly – anywhere from 5,000 to 11,000+ cases per day? Granted, the case number includes those who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which means the person doesn’t actively have the disease. The number also includes a positive result on the standard “COVID” test, which picks up any type of coronavirus that may not be COVID-19 at all.

It’s funny to hear politicians who call for more “testing, testing, testing” without even knowing what the test actually measures. Right now, testing is picking up people with the virus but also giving many false positives because a lot of people tested are not contagious, they just have remnants from their immunological reactions.

Knowing all this, is this rise in daily case numbers cause for concern? According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, it’s not.

“This week, which (there) have been increased cases, that median age is plunging even further,” Gov. DeSantis said from the Florida International University last week.

The jump in cases can also simply be a factor of months-hibernating immune systems now compromised and unable to combat even the slightest infection or virus.

Our immune system has to come in contact with viruses, bacteria and pollutants in order to elicit a response, therefore allowing us to fight off all sorts of outside contaminants and exist in a world full of viruses potentially dangerous to our health. This is nothing new. Britannica offers a comprehensive overview of the entire immune response process in a variety of different living creatures. From terrestrial vertebrates like reptiles and mammals to lowly protozoans, organisms have developed a way to identify self components from nonself components, and only through exposure to the latter does the organism elicit a response to rid itself of these foreign invaders that could potentially threaten their survival.

As background, the human immune system response consists of the following: T-Cells, antibodies, NK cells, macrophages, lymphokines and monokines. (More detail from Medical Microbiology can be found here.)

One example of immune system stifling is found in astronauts. It has been shown conclusively the astronauts who are totally isolated in space from viruses and bacteria have very, very suppressed immune systems once they return to Earth.

On this planet, broad scientific research has shown that isolation severely weakens our ability to cope with diseases.

Returning to the Sunshine State, this documented research could explain why Florida is now seeing such a high daily case count for COVID-19. It makes sense that people who are now free to mingle in Florida are now coming down with all sorts of viruses and bacterial infections, the former of which may or may not be COVID-19.

As Gov. DeSantis pointed out, the majority of these cases are young people (the average age has dropped to the low 30s) who are healthy but their immune system response is sluggish because it has to acclimate again to foreign contaminates making it abnormally slow in response to viruses.

The media is quick to sound the alarm bells about this huge rise in cases without looking at the minuscule rise in mortalities. Of course after prolonged isolation, it would be totally expected to see a rise in COVID infections and viral infections among the general population. Their collective immune system has been compromised after months of harmful isolation, hand washing, mask wearing and the like.

If anything, we should be celebrating the most recent statistics because people are not dying at alarming rates, the jump in COVID cases is not concurrently followed by a correlated rise in mortalities. This is good news. It’s how we can achieve herd immunity and actually defeat this virus.

There is a real attempt to panic the United States into closing down again that is not based on anything scientific or the least bit documented. The rise in cases can be largely attributed to the fact that young people’s immune systems have been severely impacted by this prolonged shutdown. It’s also quite possible the COVID virus has mutated to a weaker form, which is normal during warmer seasons. Even though people are testing positive, there’s no reason to panic. The country should fully re-open, and we should begin the road to restoring what was the best and strongest economy in the world. It’s time to take politics out of our decision-making and just stick to the science.

A few days ago, Beda M Stadler, former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern, biologist and professor emeritus published a piece for the Swiss magazine Weltwoche – “Coronavirus: Why Everyone Was Wrong.” In the piece, he basically outlines everything written above. “The immune response against the virus is much stronger than we thought,” he says.

And it makes sense. Tests are not rising very much in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. These places have mass transit and are far more congested than Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. People in the Northeast were probably already exposed in February and March before the shutdowns and had strong immunological reactions to the virus. About 50% of the fatalities occurred in the Northeast because foolishly we quarantined everyone instead of protecting those over 65 who were more likely to die from the virus. (It’s no coincidence that about 50% of the fatalities across the country happened in nursing homes.)

Writes Stadler: “Those young and healthy people who currently walk around with a mask on their face would be better off wearing a helmet instead, because the risk of something falling on their head is greater than that of getting a serious case of COVID-19.”

It’s only now after prolonged lockdowns that the younger population is getting sicker – with mild symptoms – as they are infected with the virus. Stadler, a prominent immunologist, says most researchers and doctors were wrong about the coronavirus. He’s in a far better position to look at all the data at this point than the crazy theorists who only spoke of doom and gloom during the height of the pandemic.

It is likely that a large proportion of the daily reported infection numbers are purely due to viral debris. He also said many of the new cases are not contagious.

The virus is basically gone for now. It will probably come back in the winter but it won’t be a second wave, it’ll be, as Stadler points out, just a cold.

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When Aliens Visit Earth

If aliens were visiting Earth right now and observing human behavior in order to access whether or not to communicate with humans, here’s how it might go …

Ping and Pong from the planet Dinaloo have just arrived from their near-lightspeed journey to evaluate intelligent life on the planet Earth. All their senses showed an unusually low rate of activity and travel among humans. Previous scans showed very significant rates of primitive air, land and sea travel between the earthlings.

Now, numerous earthlings appear to be wearing cloth and paper coverings over their breathing apparatuses. In addition, many earthlings seem to be maintaining unusually large distances between themselves.

After extensive monitoring of earthly electromagnetic transmissions, Pong determined that the Earth was locked down due to a viral outbreak. Even other primitive civilizations that Pong and Ping had encountered on other planets (like the wonderful people of Iptoshin 7) knew that silly face coverings and distancing did nothing to prevent viruses from traveling between organisms.

Most other primitive species had also figured out that biological organisms evolved to protect themselves from the overwhelming onslaught of viruses and bacteria by reacting to the environment. Why would humans want to defeat the purpose of immune responses in biological creatures? It is very peculiar, Ping thought.

Some of the rulers of these earthlings were heard saying things like, “Don’t walk on dry sand.” “Don’t play doubles tennis.” (Tennis is an earthly game.) “Wear strange face coverings before you consume nutrition but once you start consuming, you are allowed to take them off.” “Don’t enter liquid H2O.” “Stay confined and don’t go outdoors.” (This last one seemed particularly strange as even primitive beings know that abundant oxygen and sunlight kills most viruses.)

The earthlings were also, as far as Ping and Pong could tell, in the midst of finding out who particular earthlings had been in contact with. Didn’t these humans know anything about basic mathematics? This exercise could involve many millions of these creatures. How absurd!

The more the aliens listened, the more they became convinced this was certainly a very primitive and under-developed planet. What a waste it would be to communicate all the wonders of their advanced civilization with such ridiculous and illogical creatures!

Within a matter of hours, Ping and Pong had had enough and decided to head to the planet Booger, which is supposedly inhabited by furry, four-legged animals who seemed, upon their preliminary examination, to be far more advanced and promising than anything they’d find on Earth.

Columbia University Goes Batty for China’s Coronavirus Response

In the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Columbia University’s eponymous print magazine, the cover story – What We Have Learned from the Pandemic (So Far) – the Manhattan-based ivy league school strangely touted the fact that its faculty members helped mold China’s response to the coronavirus.

On the third page of the eight-page spread, written by “The Editors of Columbia Magazine” the article states:

In late January, when most Americans were hearing about the novel coronavirus for the first time, the Columbia epidemiologist W. Ian Lipkin was in Beijing, advising the Chinese government on its response … After meeting with health and science ministers, fellow epidemiologists, and physicians working on the front lines, Lipkin delivered a series of recommendations to senior Chinese leaders.

– Columbia Magazine, “What We Have Learned from the Pandemic (So Far),” Spring/Summer 2020 Edition

Lipkin, according to the piece, “endorsed” Chinese efforts to lock down Wuhan and “urged them to close hundreds of live-animal markets like the one at the center of the outbreak.”

Well, well, well.

So, is this piece meant to inform us that Columbia, which by the University’s own admission was involved in early stages of coronavirus response in China, was also involved in the virus’ suppression from the world dialogue until it became a known and feared medical entity in mid-February? By some reports, the virus was first detected in China November 2019. If Columbia was involved from the beginning, why was knowledge of the “novel coronavirus” delayed in reaching global ears until two months after its first instance?

The beginnings of COVID-19 are dark and shadowy; stories run rampant of brave Chinese doctors who had the courage to speak out against the suppression of information and were subsequently arrested or made to “disappear.”

Even The New York Times ran a story about the late Dr. Li Wenliang. In January, he issued a warning about a new virus in an online chatroom to his medical school classmates. Dr. Wenliang would later tragically die of the virus.

The Wall Street Journal echoed China’s serious virus misgivings in a scathing critique of early Chinese response to COVID-19. “China’s errors, dating back to the very first patients, were compounded by political leaders who dragged their feet to inform the public of the risks and to take decisive control measures,” write authors Jeremy Page, Wenxin Fan and Natasha Khan.

We do know that as the virus first spread in China, the Chinese government quarantined the entire city of Wuhan, which has a population of about 11 million people. The quarantine was extreme; people were basically forced into their apartments and prohibited from leaving.

Yet, even as the quarantine kept Wuhan residents isolated, restricted from traveling anywhere in China, there was no such quarantine in place when it came to international travel. Flights from Wuhan to destinations in Europe, the United States and other countries were allowed to continue business as usual during this quarantine in Wuhan. Why would Chinese citizens be protected from the virus’ spread but not the international community? This dichotomous lock-down/not lock-down continued throughout January and February. We all know what happened next …

But the precarious evidence stacking up against China doesn’t end there; it’s widely known that viral research was going on at not one but two Wuhan medical labs. Institutions in the United States such as Harvard University and the University of Texas actively participated in the research at these Wuhan laboratories as did the NIH. And now, by their own admission, we know Columbia University was involved, too.

However, Columbia’s statement in the newly published cover story that the virus originated in the “ wet market” in Wuhan has been widely debunked by American intelligence agencies. Earlier this month, Forbes published a story stating the reasons COVID-19 most likely originated in one of the Wuhan labs.

Why in the world would a prestigious institution like Columbia University disclose in print that they were even involved with this tyrannical Chinese communist government? It must be a case of cognitive dissonance; there’s no other reason to explain why Columbia would be proud of associating its historic reputation with the way the Wuhan virus was handled in China. 

Unmasking the Myths of COVID-19

We are living in a bad sci-fi movie, which plagiarizing from the famous Dr. Strangelove movie could be called: How I learned to stop worrying and love the coronavirus.

There is so much mis-information and downright lying concerning COVID-19 and it’s dangerously promulgated by a coordinated media and governmental effort. We have to remember that six giant corporations own 90% of the media (as recently reported by Business Insider) and thus, these six corporations own the information that is provided to more than 277 million Americans nationwide.

Let’s just go over a few of the blatant lies these six corporations regularly spew.

Media Myth No. 1: Wearing a mask will help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Mask-wearing has been recommended by CDC and forced upon the general population via executive orders issued by all-too-willing tyrannical governors. Yet, where is the science behind the idea that by wearing a mask you’re at less risk to contract coronavirus or that you’re mitigating the risk of spreading the virus to others? The most recent studies show that mask wearing is ineffective in stopping viral transmission. Two studies, one referenced in our last post, completely demolish the rationale for walking around looking like bandits. In a lengthy and scientifically grounded article, the Oral Health Group challenges the efficacy of masks. Then, even more damning still, our very own CDC just published a public policy review article (it was months earlier published in print). The abstract overview clearly states its stance on mask-wearing:

Here, we review the evidence base on the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical personal protective measures and environmental hygiene measures in nonhealthcare settings and discuss their potential inclusion in pandemic plans. Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.

Jingyi Xiao1, Eunice Y. C. Shiu1, Huizhi Gao, Jessica Y. Wong, Min W. Fong, Sukhyun Ryu, and Benjamin J. Cowling, Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures, CDC Policy Review, Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020

This study, again for emphasis, recently published by the CDC, is devastating to Dr. Fauci’s advice on using masks. How laughable that after touting the efficacy of mask-wearing since March, it’s Dr. Fauci’s own organization – the CDC – that debunks the entire “ masks will protect you myth.”

The truth about the inefficacy of masks is especially provocative in the large cities, like NYC, where it’s heresy to go against the accepted dogma that mask wearing is for the common good. If you don’t wear a mask in Manhattan, you’re basically akin to being a murderer. (In a surprising turn of policy, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Friday that New York City police will no longer be enforcing mask-wearing by the public unless there is a “serious danger.”)

Masks have simply become a symbol of capitulation to big brother and a sign that most people will do anything the government tells them no matter how ridiculous. If we were back in the times of the Salem witch hunt, non-compliant people would certainly be burned at the stake. Forget the scientific evidence, this is for our good. Don’t be a non-believer!

Media Myth No. 2: The statistics and facts show COVID-19 is still surging.

Ah, “surging.” The newly in vogue term used to describe the state of coronavirus … well, everywhere. But even a quick glance at the numbers will prove no such surge. The use of statistics and non-existent facts by governmental sources and especially by mostly ignorant journalists to prove their coronavirus narrative is astounding. I could almost forgive journalists because they have no formal training in either science, mathematics or basic statistical analysis, so what can we really expect?

But it’s not all ignorance when it comes to journalists. Many times, it’s political agenda. Journalists are constantly quoting the rising amount of cases, knowing full well this is strictly a factor of how many people are being tested. Test more people, get more cases.

A far better statistic to use than cases is the mortality rate per million because we know the population and we also know how many people died. However this figure must be interpreted with the understanding that many people died with COVID-19 and not as a result of COVID-19. So, even the mortality rate will always be exaggerated. But we can still use it to compare the state of coronavirus in different areas and countries because it’s the best number we have. At least it’s apples to apples instead of scare tactics to surreptitious statistics.

Looking at the current Worldometer results, a few things become apparent: Countries that chose to quarantine and lock down fared no better and in many instances, were far worse off, than countries that chose to remain open like Brazil and Sweden. In fact, one of the most locked-down countries in the world, Belgium, has the highest mortality rate in the world at 773 per million.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Sweden is doing equal to or better when compared with Western European countries that are locked down. Plus, Sweden’s economy is not destroyed.

These numbers make evident that COVID-19 is really not affecting countries, (or entire continents for that matter) like Africa or South America where temperatures are higher and there is abundant UV light.

Generally, when the media wishes to create panic they always cite the increase in cases. But the increase in cases is overwhelmingly due to increased testing. When the pandemic first began, officials were basing their statements on theoretical models. We now have facts available to us and real data we can arm ourselves with to lessen risk while returning society back to normal … or whatever’s left of society at this economically-ravaged point in the world’s history.

When the CDC, the WHO, the Imperial College of London and the IHME made their wildly outlandish predictions of mortality rates, there were very few statistics available. Concepts such as quarantining the healthy, social distancing of six feet, wearing those now-proven-ineffective masks and shutting down economies had no scientific basis and were just pulled out of thin, virus-laden air. They’re certainly less grounded in science today, when the real figures can prove otherwise. These are not false statistics devised by a nutty professor in an ivory tower above the streets of London. These are the numbers. These are the reported facts.

Media Myth No. 3: Quarantining the healthy is a good idea.

Where did the theory of quarantining the healthy come from? It has certainly never been tested against a control group as Dr. Fauci always rants about when discussing medical treatments to combat COVID-19. In actuality, recent data points to the opposite; a government study in Spain showed that people who stayed at home died at a far greater rate than people who were out working. 

So not only are these media “myths” completely false, but they are also incredibly dangerous. And that, my good Politics of Duh friends, is the absolute truth.

United Surfers of America: SoCal Beach Towns Said ‘No’ to Waives on Freedom

Bottom line: Don’t mess with surfers.

About two weeks ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom sent a directive to Orange County City Councils to shut the beaches down. While Laguna Beach had been closed for weeks, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach were still open. But after the widespread circulation of one misleading photograph showing a crowded Newport Beach – shot admittedly by the O.C. Register photographer with a telephoto lens so subjects appeared closer – Gov. Newsom decided to force O.C. beaches to close.

Orange County has always been a thorn in the side of Gov. Newsom because of the region’s conservative and libertarian leanings. Prior to the April 30 announcement, it was widely speculated Gov. Newsom would shut down all beaches in the Golden State. When the official memo came, only Orange County beaches were to be closed, with the Governor citing “specific issues on some of those beaches [that] raised alarm bells.” 

I guess Gov. Gruesome felt COVID-19 only attacked beaches where conservatives swam.

At the time, the total COVID-19 death rate in Orange County was 22 per million. Contrast this number with New York City, where it’s approximately 2,338 per million and you’ll get some sense of regional scope.

It’s true, at least in Newport Beach, the residents were eager to enjoy the region’s abundant springtime sunshine and fresh air, and did not stay indoors. They were also hesitant to wear face masks, as soaking in salty, ocean air is quite refreshing on the lungs, and has vast known health benefits. The atmosphere in Newport Beach was as laid-back as you’d expect for a coastal California surf town, a far cry from the mask-enforcement, draconian measures enacted just 50 miles north in Los Angeles.

And on the subject of wearing a mask, does it really prevent the spread of virus anyway? It’s been well documented that viruses can spread through the eyes, ears and even the skin, so what does a mask really do?

In a revealing 2016 article for Oral Health Group, John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC, intellectually critiques the notion that face masks are “capable of providing an acceptable level of protection from airborne pathogens,” as is the widely held belief. Unlike new medicines, the practice of wearing a face mask has admittedly not been subject to the same strenuous investigation to determine actual efficacy. Most of the studies conducted have “limited clinical applicability as they cannot account for such human factors as compliance, coughing and talking,” said Dr. Hardie.

Traditionally, as Dr. Hardie notes, face masks were recommended to protect the mouth and nose from the “droplet” route of infection (greater than 5 microns), as they are of no use against airborne transmissions (less than 5 microns). These small particles, transmitted via air currents, can be dispersed over long distances and might even be inhaled by someone who had no contact with the original host.

Even these “droplets” upon emission “undergo evaporation producing a concentration of readily inhalable small particles surrounding the aerosol source,” according to Dr. Hardie. As he explained: “[The] efficacy [of face masks] must be re-examined in light of the fact that aerosols contain particles many times smaller than 5 microns.”

Not only did Dr. Hardie eloquently argue that these particles are too small for masks to protect but he also showed, through a study of dentists, how exposure to aerosol transmissible pathogens can strengthen the immune system.

The respiratory tract’s ability to thwart pathogens was evident, Dr. Hardie said, in a study of dentists, medical professionals who are readily exposed to pathogens as a result of their everyday work. The study found dentists had “significantly elevated levels of antibodies to influenza A and B and the respiratory syncytial virus. Thus, while dentists had greater than normal exposure to these aerosol transmissible pathogens, their potential to cause disease was resisted by respiratory immunologic responses.”

But back to Newport Beach, where a sunshine-loving, sometimes-mask-wearing population was told by Gov. Newsom they could no longer be on the beach, effectively criminalizing “surfers and families digging in the sand,” as Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill wrote on Instagram, adding, so there would be no confusion as to where he stood on the beach closures: “This is sick.”

Closing the beach was like declaring war on surfers, on sunshine, on the basic right to walk freely in the open air and salty breeze. Try as they might, the barriers blocking all entrances to the beach in Newport that were dutifully inspected each night by city workers would mysteriously disappear by morning. (“It was the wind,” one resident overheard a group of surfers explaining.)

The barriers became more elaborate each passing day, with more sandbags, more reinforced fencing, more zip ties to affix the fencing and still, they never lasted more than a few hours, especially as Mayor O’Neill and Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes announced they would not be enforcing this directive. (Even the city signs around the beach were laughably tongue in cheek: Beach temporarily closed by state order or Beaches closed by the governor.)

Within hours of Gov. Newsom’s directive, a walk on the beach became a chance to claim back newly stripped American freedom. Beachgoers sat with their umbrellas and American flags. Skywriters etched “Fire Gruesome Newsom! Open California!” into the heavens above. Huntington Beach citizens marched in peaceful protest along a main intersection of Pacific Coast Highway.

While much of the state and country seemed to mock this pushback over a simple beach closure, the defiance erupted over more than the right to stand by the sea. Orange County residents were standing up to defend the Constitution, which has lately taken a back seat to modern gubernatorial dictatorship, a new kind of power-wielding that strips Americans of the centuries-old rights this country was built to espouse, defend and protect.

Bolstered by overwhelming local support, Mayor O’Neill publicly disagreed with Gov. Newsom’s order and pointed out in a conversation with Tucker Carlson that Newport Beach hospitals were not overwhelmed – only 28 beds were being used. There was no wave of deaths that ever happened due to coronavirus in Newport Beach.

Huntington Beach, Dana Point and several local private businesses in Orange County requested a temporary restraining order against the directive in the Orange County Supreme Court. Newport Beach City Councilman Kevin Muldoon personally sued Gov. Newsom in federal court. The lawsuit stated: “Defendants have shown by their actions a willingness to ignore and to violate the fundamental civil rights of California residents.”

In both Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, police forces refused to arrest or ticket anyone in violation of the state directive.

“This is a war between the city and the governor, so we don’t know what tomorrow will bring,” one resident was told by a Newport Beach policeman after the cop politely asked him to step off the beach. (He did, returning to the sand as soon as the police vehicle departed.)

To enforce the order, Gov. Newsom sent ten California Highway Patrol (CHP) units to Orange County, which meant, of course, there were that many fewer officers patrolling the roads. With CHP busy on the beach, another group of rebels, the California car culture enthusiasts, turned the highways into their own version of the California Grand Prix, with average speeds approaching 100 mph on mostly deserted and no-longer-patrolled roadways.

Also during this time, Gov. Newsom released seven high-level sex offenders from prison. These convicted criminals roamed free while Newport Beach residents were punished for merely living by the ocean.

Finally, after six long days of mayhem, a cease-fire was reached: Orange County beaches could be open “for active recreational use only,” though Mayor O’Neill made it clear this model was not the preferred choice of the City Council.

If you follow the data, the beaches should absolutely be open, and never should’ve closed in the first place. Even after the so-called “crowded” beach day two weeks ago, there has been no surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations or deaths in Newport Beach. As of May 9, there are 105 known cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach, which has a population of 80,000. When Gov. Newsom’s beach ban was put into place, known cases were at 89. No statistician would argue that 16 new cases can be defined as a surge, especially when this increase could just be the result of additional testing. Plus, “cases” does not mean sick; it’s possible these patients exhibited mild symptoms of the virus or, as with many COVID-19 cases, are asymptomatic.

The statistics do show that as of May 10, COVID-19 fatalities in Orange County, which has a population of more than 3 million, increased from 50 to approximately 70. It should be dubiously noted the 20 deaths recorded due to COVID-19 during this timespan did not require testing for the virus to be confirmed, so completely unrelated medical factors could have caused someone in Orange County to die but this untimely death would have still been recorded as a COVID-19 fatality.

What’s the moral of this sad story? As the new saying in Newport Beach goes: Newsom don’t surf.

Irresponsible Journalism, Unreliable Facts

What do you do when the experts writing the news aren’t experts and can’t write?

In today’s Apple news alert, titled “More grim milestones for the U.S.,” bullet point No. 1 was pulled from an article in the Los Angeles Times: “More Americans have died from COVID-19 than in the Vietnam War … Meanwhile, confirmed cases in the U.S. topped 1 million.”

Yes, the news does seem grim, but it’s also the kind of duplicitous wordplay journalists have been engaged in all pandemic long. Let’s start with that first point, about the Vietnam War death toll compared with COVID-19 fatalities. According to the L.A. Times, NPR, CNN, MarketWatch, Mother Jones and a host of other click-hungry media outlets, 58,220 Americans died during the Vietnam War and as of today, the U.S. death toll has reached 58,365.

Strictly examining the numbers, the statement is true. However, here are other statements that can be made that are just as true and just as tragic:

  • So far in 2020, the number of cancer deaths in the U.S. is 606,520, or 10.4 times the amount of casualties during the Vietnam War. (Statistics via Cancer.org.)
  • CDC flu death estimates from Oct. 1 2019 to April 4, 2020 are between 24,000 and 62,000. If the latter number is correct, flu deaths during this period exceed casualties of the Vietnam War by 3,780 while casualties of COVID-19 exceed Vietnam War deaths by 145.
  • Heart disease deaths in California for the year 2018 (the last year the CDC reported statistics) exceed Vietnam War casualties by 4,327.

Contrasting lives lost during the Vietnam War to the COVID-19 death toll is effective as a narrative mechanism to understand scope, perhaps, but it’s also irresponsibly arbitrary. Why not use the Civil War as a barometer, when an estimated 215,000 lives were lost? By that morbid gauge, we are nowhere near the amount of deaths resulting from those terrible, bloody battles.

And what about the number provided – 58,365? Can we really trust in its validity? Shadowy doubt can be thrown at this figure, too, especially when new information has come to light about the classification of COVID-19 deaths.

In a video public health officials were suspiciously quick to dismiss, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, Calif., examined data – “millions of cases, small amount of deaths” – during a press conference lasting exactly one hour and nine minutes. (A related note on the state of our free press: YouTube announced it removed the video, citing it as “flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines.” Also relatedly, Google owns YouTube and employees have anonymously yet publicly voiced concerns surrounding the company’s close ties to China, particularly as they relate to Google’s plan to launch a censored search engine for China.)

Anyway, over the span of those 69 minutes, the Drs. examined findings from their own testing and extrapolated the numbers over the state of California to arrive at a death rate of about 0.3%. They also examined death tolls from around the world, notably Sweden versus Norway, the former country exercising little to no social distancing or business shutdowns, the latter country collectively sheltering in place. From a statistical standpoint, the death rate differences in the two countries, with same climate and same way of life, were marginal.

Beyond the de-bunking of the CDC and WHO’s theoretical erroneousness, they also said even those deaths classified as COVID-19 come into question when you factor in co-morbidities, which any doctor would rightly do. With widespread cases (by Apple’s own alert, the number in the U.S. is beyond 1 million), it’s possible any patient with a life-threatening illness also had COVID-19, though the coronavirus did not ultimately contribute to their death. Plus, while the CDC allows doctors to classify COVID-19 deaths based on “suspicion” of the virus rather than on performing an actual test, it’s virtually impossible to separate flu cases from COVID-19 cases from cases that have nothing to do with either of those things.

Dr. Fauci and his crew of motley scientists have already proven their absolute ineptitude with deciphering predictive models, though they are experts at delivering foreboding false reports (200,000 deaths?). It’s not only likely but also probable Fauci and his “fact finders” are wrong about this death toll.

Finally, let’s talk about the 1 million cases number that Apple labeled as part of its “grim” news update, though really, it’s not so grim. Think about this figure in terms of simple math: To arrive at the death rate, we divide the number of deaths (numerator) by the total number of known cases (denominator). If the denominator is going up at a greater rate than the numerator, this lowers the overall death rate in the U.S. More known cases, less fatalities, lower and lower death rate.

Conspicuously missing from Apple’s news report? The number of domestic violence cases that has truly surged since stay at home orders and lockdowns were enacted – 31 million new reports, says CBS. The number of child abuse cases has also increased – the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, according to NPR, had a 22% rise in monthly calls from people younger than 18. Or what about the number of small businesses forced to shut down indefinitely? The number of newly unemployed workers nationwide? Furloughed Americans? Industries (like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues) that will take months or years to recover? The COVID-19 Information Center announced today the U.S. economy shrunk 4.8% in the first quarter, the biggest contraction since 2008.

No matter how you spin it, journalists’ penchant for warping half-truths and slathering dramatic adjectives onto lies is nothing new, but during a global pandemic the practice isn’t just thoughtless, it’s wrong. Maybe the new slogan of this coronavirus age can be applied to our media elite. A public health guideline for those reporters in the terrible business of truth-twisting: stop writing, stay home.