Some Good News From New York

The Epoch Times posted an article yesterday reporting some good news from New York.

The article reports:

Hospitals in New York state have discharged more COVID-19 patients than they have added for four days in a row, according to the latest data from the state hit hardest by the CCP virus pandemic.

Hospitals in the state discharged 1,709 COVID-19 patients on April 4, while admitting 574 patients. The number of daily discharges had also surpassed the daily admissions on the three prior days, state data shows.

…New York has been the U.S. epicenter for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. While New York City has borne the brunt of the outbreak, there has been an increasing shift to Long Island, which now accounts for 22 percent of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The number of daily deaths in New York state from COVID-19 dropped for the first time on April 4, when 594 people died, down from 630 deaths the day before, with a total of 4,159 people dying from the disease statewide.

“What is the significance of that? It’s too early to tell,” Cuomo said.

New York has been the epicenter of the virus, but reports indicate new epicenters in New Orleans and Detroit. However, it would be nice if New York has truly turned the corner in fighting the virus.

Who Are They Working For?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the media spin in reporting the news about the coronavirus.

The article reports:

It should not be this easy for Chinese Communist Party propaganda to make its way into major American newsrooms.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which Chinese lies ensured would become a pandemic, American news media have promoted a number of Beijing-approved talking points, including the one that alleges it is racist to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin. American news media have also accepted at face value a series of dubious claims pushed by Chinese Communist apparatchiks, including the absurd boast that China’s new case numbers have remained essentially flat since late February.

“U.S. has more known cases of coronavirus than any other country,” CNN reported on March 26, its declaration coming in unison with nearly every major news outlet in the United States.

The CNN report, which was published shortly after pandemic trackers placed the number of coronavirus cases in America at more than 85,000, claimed the “U.S. cases piled up … surpassing China and Italy.”

Does anyone actually believe the numbers coming from the Chinese Communist Party reporting the number of coronavirus cases in China?

The article continues:

But the obvious red flags regarding China’s reported data did not slow American newsrooms from declaring the U.S. the leader in reported coronavirus cases without caveats.

This is not the only example of western news media hailing China’s allegedly successful campaign to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier, even before the U.S. had even supposedly passed the case number milestone, the New York Times published a report on March 18 titled “Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward.”

The article, the chief claim of which has been repeated elsewhere by the New York Times, Bloomberg, and NBC News, goes to great lengths to cast China as a thoughtful, meticulous, proactive, and responsible world leader, one whose contributions to fighting the pandemic have made it a more reliable and responsible superpower compared to the U.S. The New York Times article repeats the Chinese Communist Party’s claim that China’s daily coronavirus cases have dwindled “into the single digits.”

No attempt is made to verify these numbers.

…The U.S. intelligence community determined last week that China has underreported both the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths, all of it in an attempt to conceal the full extent of the pandemic in its country.

Early on, China silenced doctors who raised alarms about the virus, denied access to foreign scientists who could have studied the virus, and falsely claimed that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

There is a massive public relations campaign going on right now from the Chinese Communist Party to downplay the role China played on releasing this virus on the world. The effort is to change the narrative to show China as saving the world from a virus caused by America. This is simply one part of China’s effort to establish itself as the lone superpower in the world–usurping the role currently played by America. The America media does not need to help China in that effort.

Who Is Doing The Math?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the calculations made by government agencies regarding the impact of the coronavirus.

The article reports:

This is quite stunning.
The government models used to predict the extent of the coronavirus pandemic are off by huge margins in the latest coronavirus tracking numbers.

The current government predictions reported by Covid Tracking (https://covidtracking.com/data/ ) for Apr 5th show:

– All beds needed: 179,267
– ICU beds needed: 33,176
Invasive ventilators: 26,544

The actual numbers are significantly different:

– Actual hospitalizations: 22,158
– In ICU: 5,207
– On ventilator: 656

The article concludes:

The actual numbers show:

– Overestimation of hospitalizations: 8 times
– Overestimation of of ICU beds needed: 6.4 times
– Overestimation of ventilators needed: 40.5 times

This is completely unacceptable.
At this time in history and with the technology in place it is absolutely shocking that this could happen!
Millions of Americans will lose their jobs due to these panic-driven lockdowns.
The first people to be fired should be the ones who drove this panic!

We need to look carefully at the basis for these predictions. Although I am sure that Americans staying home has helped the situation, I seriously doubt it is totally responsible for the difference in the numbers.

Much Of America Is Focused On Solving The Problem Rather Than Politicizing It

On March 30, The New York Post posted an article about the ways that Americans are fighting the pandemic of the coronavirus. The title of the article is, “Answering the coronavirus: exponential American innovation.”

The article reports:

America has long led the world in innovation, and the coronavirus won’t change that. Indeed, US inventors and entrepreneurs are rising to the occasion, jumping in to fill urgent needs.

With ramped-up testing the best way to discover who has the virus and so learn what the fatality rate really is, the news from Abbott Laboratories couldn’t be better. The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency-use approval to Abbott’s new test, the fastest available at the point of care: It can deliver a positive result in five minutes and a negative result in under 15.

…Even more promising are serology tests that can find antibodies in a finger-prick of blood — proving that you had COVID-19 even without any symptoms. That will make it easier to track contacts and clear some people to stop isolating. Biomerica has developed one that can deliver results in 10 minutes at a cost of $10; it’s already shipping kits to Europe but needs emergency-use Food and Drug Administration approval for US use. (Get going, FDA.)

The list goes on. Startup BioIntelliSense has developed the BioSticker, a wearable sensor that can measure vital signs — temperature, heart and respiratory rates and coughing — and transmit it to clinicians in near-real time.

Vici, an InTouch Health robot with a camera forehead, tablet chest and keyboard navel, let docs in Washington state communicate with the first US COVID-19 patient in isolation. And Stanford researchers are using the Crispr gene-editing tool to see if they can stop the coronavirus from hijacking human cells.

Other companies are at work to end shortages of vital equipment: The FDA on Sunday approved the nonprofit Battelle’s request to sterilize N95 masks without limit (after the agency at first tried to set a 10,000-a-day limit — why?). Battelle’s seeking approval to sterilize other equipment, such as ventilator parts, as well.

Here in New York, the Northwell hospital group is converting anesthesia machines and BIPAP devices (used for sleep apnea) into ventilators.

With the pandemic’s peak still ahead, take some consolation in the fact that innovators’ responses are expanding exponentially, too.

The test that can detect antibodies will be a game-changer. Once we can discover who has the disease, who has had the disease, and who is immune to the disease, we can limit our lockdowns to the people and places that are necessary. One of the reasons we are seeing the numbers in New York and some other places is that those places are densely populated and people we out eating, gathering together for plays and music, and generally spending time in close proximity for at least a month without anyone understanding the risk. When we reach the point where we know the risk and can test freely, we should be able to gradually open our economy back up.

A Very Interesting Possibility

Townhall is reporting today that a group of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they may have found a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The article quotes The New York Post:

The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to “significantly impact the spread of disease,” according to their study published in EBioMedicine.

The vaccine would be delivered on a small, fingertip-sized patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.

[…]

“These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus,” read a statement from co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine.

“We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”

[…]

Researchers said they sided with using a patch, rather than a traditional needle, to deliver the spike protein to the skin, which elicits the strongest immune reaction.

The patch contains 400 tiny “microneedles” made of sugar and protein pieces. It would be applied like a Band-Aid with the needles dissolving into the skin.

The vaccine would be “highly scalable” for widespread use, the researchers said in a news release.

Stay tuned. This may be the best news we have had since January.

 

Two Very Different Solutions To A Problem

Lifesite News reported yesterday that United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has announced the creation of a fund for addressing the global coronavirus pandemic. Isn’t that nice? He is asking nations to contribute the equivalent of at least 10 percent of the annual income of the entire planet to a massive “human-centered, innovative and coordinated stimulus package” that would be administered at the international level. The United Nations is so well managed that we are going to give them more money? I don’t think so.

The article reports:

Guterres also wants 100 billion USD for the World Health Organization, whose president has been blamed for helping to cause the coronavirus pandemic by repeating in January the Chinese government’s false claim that COVID-19 is not transmissible to humans.

He also wants the same organization to build an “interconnected Global Health Emergency System for data, workforce, and supplies.”

The same WHO that told us that the coronavirus was not transmitted person-to-person and that China has done an excellent job of handling the virus? Again, I don’t think so.

There is, however, another suggestion that I think puts the responsibility where it belongs. Breitbart reported yesterday that Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) believes that China should consider waiving some of that debt given the communist nation’s role in the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus.

The article reports:

During an interview that aired on Huntsville, AL radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” when asked, Blackburn explained ways to hold China accountable for the global pandemic, noting her effort to officially recognize China’s role and the debtor relationship the United States has with China.

“Indeed there is,” Blackburn replied. “One of the things is my Senate Resolution 553, which it expresses the sense of the Senate — that we know this came from Wuhan, China, and that they hid the information and were not transparent, that they blocked the World Health Organization and the CDC from coming into help. They tried to blame it on the U.S. military. And we hold them accountable.”

For the losses accrued from the pandemic, Blackburn called on China to forgive a portion of the debt owed to them.

“I will tell you I think we need to look at the fact that China owns over a trillion dollars of our debt,” she said. “They like investing in us. Why do they like that? Because we are a safe debt for them — a safe place for them to put their money. And knowing that they have made a global pandemic worse than it ever would have been because of their action — they should waive some of our debt. They have caused us a tremendous amount of loss of life, loss of businesses, suffering, inconvenience, shutting down our economy.”

Another component the Tennessee Republican argued for on the accountability front was to bring elements of manufacturing back from China to the United States.

“These are all things that we should take into consideration — bringing our manufacturing back, not only our pharmaceutical manufacturing — I was working with one of my colleagues today,” Blackburn explained. “There are other things we can bring back and put America back in the manufacturing business.”

For those who want to investigate the role of Chinese propaganda in the spread of the coronavirus, today The Center for Security Policy posted a timeline of events surrounding the beginning and spread of the coronavirus. It’s a rather long timeline, but it illustrates the role that the tyrannical Chinese state played in spreading the virus by misstating information and lying about the numbers of people in China impacted by it. The fact that the global migration that occurs around the Chinese New Year went on as usual without any government warnings has a lot to do with the worldwide pandemic we are currently seeing. The fact that the World Health Organization was sharing Chinese propaganda rather than valid health information is also a concern.

There needs to be a financial penalty placed on China for their behavior during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Had the Chinese acted quickly to contain the virus and accepted the help offered to them by other countries, the virus might be a thing of the past by now.

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

If you look at the people who oppose voter id laws, they tend to be Democrats. I’m not accusing them of anything, but I do wonder why they would oppose something that would protect the votes of all Americans. Well, the coronavirus crisis has caused those who oppose voter id laws to take things a step further.

Just The News posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Democrats pushing harder for ‘Vote by mail’ in November election.” I don’t mean to be cynical, but I believe that would be the end of honest elections.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would like to see “vote by mail” funding of up to $4 billion in Congress’ next coronavirus stimulus package for upcoming elections.

Pelosi suggested on Wednesday that the funding would to help states “expand” their vote-by-mail capabilities and allow voters to cast ballots by mail rather than show up in-person at the polls.

“Vote-by-mail is so important to our democracy so that people have access to voting and not being deterred, especially at this time, by the ammunition to stay home,” Pelosi said on a conference call. “We need at least $2 billion, $4 billion is probably what would really democratize our whole system.”

On Tuesday, Pelosi said she does not know why anyone would oppose voting by mail in the next election.

Aside from the obvious problem of voter fraud, why does Speaker Pelosi think we will still be under threat of the coronavirus in November? I realize that the disease may make a comeback in the fall, but I suspect that by that time enough Americans will have developed immunity to the disease to minimize the problem or we will have learned how to successfully deal with the disease so that ‘social distancing’ will be a distant memory.

Because of their recent strong turn to the left, Democrats have lost a lot of American voters. The party that was previously the party of the working man has totally forgotten its roots. The only hope for a strong Democrat party in the future is illegal aliens voting or election fraud. Until the Democrats turn back toward the center, they will be a dying party. That is the reason voting by mail looks good to them.

We Have Lost Critical Thinking (And Civility) In America

I did an experiment on Facebook yesterday. I posted the following observation:

To all of my liberal California friends who are constantly bashing President Trump. Has it occurred to you that if President Trump had not restricted air travel from Chine at the end of January (despite being called a racist by the Democrats for doing it) if you live near an airport that is a point of entry from China, he might have saved your life.

That is a statement based on comments by the medical experts on the coronavirus task force–it is not an original thought. The response the statement got was unbelievable–there were close to fifty comments, many of which (on both sides) used language that caused me to eventually delete the post.

There really are not two sides of that argument–the statement is based on scientific evidence about the virus and how it spreads. There should be nothing controversial about the statement.

So what did I learn? Critical thinking and civil debate are not doing well in America. By the time the comments thread was half way over, the word racist was used, President Trump was accused of acting like a king, the people who supported President Trump in his handling of the coronavirus were simply ignoring facts, and the people who opposed President Trump were simply stupid and uninformed. The basic fact of the statement was totally ignored in the discussion.  I mention this because it is dangerous for America. I wasn’t around for Pearl Harbor, so I don’t know if America came together at that point. I was around for 9/11, and I remember the leaked Democrat memo that suggested a strategy to undermine President Bush by supporting the war in Iraq and then pulling the rug out from under him. That is not the way to unite America, and may have been the beginning of the political games we see now. Just for the record, The New York Times ran an article in 2014 stating that our soldiers found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but somehow the rest of the media didn’t pick up the story.

My point is very simple. We are facing a crisis in America. Because a country without freedom chose to lie to the world about a new virus, we are challenged by a pandemic. Everyone has been told to stay at home for at least the past week, and some of us are going stir crazy. Insulting each other and bashing the President does not help the situation. Some of the statements made by our political leaders would be considered treasonous in a different time. It’s time to work together and ignore those who are using this crisis for political gain. We need to bring back critical thinking and civility.

Be Careful Out There (Or Better Yet, Stay Home)

It’s hard to fight an enemy you can’t see, yet that is what Americans are being asked to do. We can debate the seriousness of the coronavirus if we choose, but we can’t debate that it is here and that it is killing people.

MSN posted an article yesterday about the death of two people in Washington state. I realize that compared to the growing number of coronavirus deaths in America, two people may seem insignificant (not to their families), but their story is significant.

The article reports:

With the coronavirus quickly spreading in Washington state in early March, leaders of the Skagit Valley Chorale debated whether to go ahead with weekly rehearsal.

The virus was already killing people in the Seattle area, about an hour’s drive to the south.

But Skagit County hadn’t reported any cases, schools and business remained open, and prohibitions on large gatherings had yet to be announced.

On March 6, Adam Burdick, the choir’s conductor, informed the 121 members in an email that amid the “stress and strain of concerns about the virus,” practice would proceed as scheduled at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.

“I’m planning on being there this Tuesday March 10, and hoping many of you will be, too,” he wrote.

Sixty singers showed up. A greeter offered hand sanitizer at the door, and members refrained from the usual hugs and handshakes.

…After 2 1/2 hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m.

Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead.

The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

The fact that the virus was transmitted at the rehearsal raises questions about the virus.

The article notes:

In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, eight people who were at the rehearsal said that nobody there was coughing or sneezing or appeared ill.

Everybody came with their own sheet music and avoided direct physical contact. Some members helped set up or remove folding chairs. A few helped themselves to mandarins that had been put out on a table in back.

Experts said the choir outbreak is consistent with a growing body of evidence that the virus can be transmitted through aerosols — particles smaller than 5 micrometers that can float in the air for minutes or longer.

The World Health Organization has downplayed the possibility of transmission in aerosols, stressing that the virus is spread through much larger “respiratory droplets,” which are emitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and quickly fall to a surface.

But a study published March 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the virus was suspended in a mist under laboratory conditions it remained “viable and infectious” for three hours — though researchers have said that time period would probably be no more than a half-hour in real-world conditions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not behaved well during this pandemic. There is a video of an official of the organization obviously avoiding a question about helping Taiwan. There are also indications that the WHO has made statements based on Chinese propaganda rather than actual facts (misinformation that has helped spread the virus).

At any rate–STAY HOME. Choir practice is fun, but when you sing, you may be projecting more than your voice. Normally that is not a problem–right now it is.

Stay safe.

What Were They Thinking?

Right now, New York is a hot spot for the coronavirus. Samaritan’s Purse has erected a hospital in Central Park, and the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds for patients, has arrived in New York harbor. New Yorkers have been asked to stay home to avoid further spread of the virus. So have they listened?

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted pictures of New Yorkers celebrating the arrival of the USNS Comfort.

Here are some pictures:

Obviously the arrival of the ship is a historic moment, and represents hope for the city. However, how many of the people in the crowd that came out to watch will be in New York City’s hospitals within the next two weeks? We need to learn to follow directions. At this point in time, that is a critical skill.

 

How Certificate Of Need Laws Endanger Americans

The Federalist posted an article today about Certificate of Need (CON) laws and how they are hindering America’s response to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

During a Tuesday press conference, Cuomo lashed out at the federal government for not sending enough ventilators as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to rattle the state. “Four hundred ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” The state is projecting it will need approximately 140,000 beds in 14 to 21 days, which is higher than its previous estimation of 110,000 beds by early to mid-May.

However, New York, along with 35 other states and the District of Columbia, have in place what are known as certificate-of-need (CON) laws. According to Reason, “Their stated purpose is to keep hospitals from overspending, and thus from having to charge higher prices to make up for unnecessary outlays of capital costs. But in practice, they mean hospitals must get a state agency’s permission before offering new services or installing a new medical technology. Depending on the state, everything from the number of hospital beds to the installation of a new MRI machine could be subject to CON review.”

The article notes the impact of CON laws on patient mortality rates:

In addition to causing a lack of proper equipment, these rules harm patients. According to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, states with CON laws have a 2.5 to 5 percent higher mortality rate than those without. Wait times have also been affected, with the average delay in New York City emergency rooms ranging from seven to 10 hours before the virus outbreak added strain to an already poorly operating medical system.

The article concludes:

Luckily, efforts to eradicate this onerous red tape have already begun, as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order suspending CON law enforcement in the state. Governors like Cuomo would be wise to follow suit and slash these burdensome regulations to allow for the expansion of new medical facilities and COVID-19 treatments.

More government control of our health-care industry is the exact opposite of what should be happening in Washington, D.C, and states around the country. Instead, lawmakers across the nation should be focusing on getting rid of these big-government barriers that make it more difficult for doctors and medical experts to treat patients. Letting the market solve its own problems is the answer to many of our problems in health care. The government needs to know when to step out of the way.

On March 23, I posted an article about how CON laws are impacting New Hampshire’s response to the coronavirus. Hopefully the problems caused by these laws during this health crisis will cause states to revisit them. Unfortunately, hospitals like the monopolies the laws give them and are willing to put forth massive lobbying efforts. Lawmakers need to rise above the politics and lobbyists and do what is best for the people they are supposed to represent.

Uneven Precautions

Hot Air posted an article today about some recent comments by New York City Mayor DeBlasio.

The article reports:

“A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues, are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread,” the New York Democrat said Friday at his daily press briefing.

“I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he added.

De Blasio said that continued resistance of authorities to close religious services could mean a permanent shutdown.

The last paragraph is an amazing statement. Particularly when you consider the fact that he has not closed down the parks in New York City.

The article notes:

But it’s still interesting to see how selective the Mayor is in the targets he picks for “special treatment” in terms of enforcing his social distancing decrees. As I mentioned above, why threaten to close the synagogues when he still hasn’t closed the public parks? We’re seeing much larger crowds still clogging the parks than you’re likely to find in the average temple on any given Saturday.

The last paragraph of the article reminds us how silly Mayor De Blasio’s statement about closing down the churches and synagogues is:

The last thing I’ll touch on here was de Blasio’s admonishment about potentially closing the buildings “permanently.” That’s hogwash. Or perhaps malarkey, if you’re feeling more Bidenesque. Sooner or later this virus will pass. When it does, the rules about not gathering in large groups will go out the window. And any elected official found trying to shutter churches and synagogues at that point will quickly find themselves on the losing end of a massive court case, if not run out of town on a rail.

At any rate, one thing Americans need to make sure of is that the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment of our Constitution do not get lost in the fight against the coronavirus.

Good News From France

The Gateway Pundit reported today that France has sanctioned the use of chloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus after 78 out of 80 patients recovered completely from the virus within five days after receiving the drug.

The article reports:

The French government has officially sanctioned the malaria drug chloroquine to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, France 24 English reported Saturday.

“This ensures continued treatment of patients who have been treated for several years for a chronic condition with this drug, but also allows a temporary authorization to allow certain patients with coronavirus to benefit from this therapeutic route,” France’s Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon said.

The French move came after Didier Raoult, an infectious diseases specialist, reported that clinical results show 78 of 80 patients treated with chloroquine recovered within five days,.

This was Dr. Raoult’s second successful treatment against the coronavirus.

…On Thursday, France’s Minister of Health Olivier Véran said: “Hydroxychloroquine and the combination of lopinavir/ritonavir may be prescribed, dispensed and administered under the responsibility of a doctor to patients affected by Covid-19, in the healthcare establishments which take charge of them, as well as for the continuation of their treatment if their condition allows it and with the authorization of the initial prescriber, at home.”

The liberal Washington Post reported on Thursday that New York is using the drug as treatment.

“New York will use three medications — hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin — contributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Amneal Pharmaceuticals,” The Post said, citing state officials. “The first wave of patients will receive hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.”

This is great news.

Defective Test Kits Really Didn’t Help Anyone

One America News is reporting today that Spain has returned the coronavirus test kits supplied to the country by China because they are defective.

The article reports:

According to Spain’s prime minister, coronavirus test kits supplied by a Chinese company have been sent back after being deemed to be inaccurate. Pedro Sánchez made the announcement on Saturday and confirmed that the kits would be replaced.

The Spanish government faced immense criticism following the purchase of more than half a million kits, 60,000 of which were found to be only 30 percent effective. This prompted critics to question the process the government followed when it purchased the kits.

…The Chinese company that supplied the kits claimed the incorrect results may be due to a failure to collect samples or use the tests correctly. The Czech Republic also reported a similar situation this week, saying around 80 percent of the 150,000 kits delivered from China were faulty.

There will always be a risk in buying something from a country that employs slave labor and does not allow freedom of information. It is quite possible that the defective kits were sent hoping that no one would notice that they didn’t work. Note that the Chinese company is blaming the user–not the test kits. That lack of taking responsibility has been part of China’s handling of the coronavirus since the virus was first known–probably in November of last year.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, Just The News posted an article about some of the things the National Institute of Health (NIH) is spending your tax money on.

The article reports:

On a steamy summer day inside the lecture auditorium of the storied National Institutes of Health headquarters, Dr. Michael Bracken delivered a stark message to an audience that dedicated its life, and owed its living, to medical research.

As much as 87.5% of biomedical research is wasted or inefficient, the respected Yale University epidemiologist declared in a sobering assessment for a federal research agency that spends about $40 billion a year on medical studies.

He backed his staggering statistic with these additional stats: 50 out of every 100 medical studies fail to produce published findings, and half of those that do publish have serious design flaws. And those that aren’t flawed and manage to publish are often needlessly redundant.

The article notes where the NIH has spent money instead of researching cures for a coronavirus pandemic:

As you weigh that question, consider this: In the 15 years since evidence first emerged that drugs like chloroquine might help in a coronavirus pandemic, NIH spent:

Just two days ago, in the midst of surging coronavirus deaths in America, NIH released a joint study by its National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging that came to a heady conclusion: If you walk more, you are likely to live longer.

If the NIH had investigated chloroquine fifteen years ago, we might not have governors forbidding doctors to use it to treat coronavirus. It really is time to go through the federal budget line by line and get rid of stupid research projects and useless programs. We could probably pay for the stimulus package with what we cut and have money left over.

 

This Is What American Ingenuity Looks Like

The Amateur Radio Relay League (AARL), a group of amateur radio operators, posted the following in their recent newsletter:

Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves.

The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.

Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, include noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the design moves closer to fruition. The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can clear the infection.

The software design team is also adding simple features such as an LCD display, encoders to choose parameters, and watchdog safety features.

This is the result of the free market being allowed to function.

When In Doubt, Blame President Trump

Sometimes I am just amazed at the chutzpah of some people. Townhall posted an article today about a recent statement by Mayor LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans. New Orleans is about to become the next American hot spot for the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Mayor LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans refuses to take responsibility for her decision not to call off Mardi Gras over concerns of the Wuhan coronavirus. That decision has caused New Orleans to become the epicenter of coronavirus cases in the state of Louisiana, according to medical experts. So who exactly does the Democratic mayor blame for not canceling Mardi Gras in her own city? Donald Trump. 

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Cantrell said she didn’t take the threat of the virus too seriously because President Trump didn’t take it seriously. She then gave herself credit for canceling other events in her city subsequent to Mardi Gras, like the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

I would like to remind the Mayor that President Trump put travel restrictions on China at the end of January (and was soundly criticized for it). Isn’t that an indication of taking the coronavirus seriously? Did the Mayor not see what was happening on the various cruise ships that were impacted by the disease?

New Orleans is an interesting city. The population of the city includes a lot of artists and musicians who are struggling to make a living at their craft. There is a large percentage of the population that lives in poverty. The schools attempted to improve after hurricane Katrina, but fell back into old patterns. The city attracts a great number of tourists at Mardi Gras, and the celebration provides a lot of income for the city. New Orleans is a city that loves to party, but has not been effective in dealing with serious situations. The fact that they are rapidly becoming a hot spot for the coronavirus is a reflection of this.

 

This Is How America Works

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article reporting that Ford Motor Company, GE Healthcare and 3M have started pooling their resources together to make ventilators, respirators and face shields to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.

That is fantastic news.

The article reports:

“We were the arsenal of democracy during two world wars,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford explained during his appearance Tuesday on the “Today Show.” We built iron lungs for polio patients. Whenever we’re called on, we’re there.”

“We’re going into our parts bin to see what can be done,” he added. “We’re a very opportunistic company.”

…“By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” the statement added. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Other manufacturers like General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Tesla have announced it will start repurposing to build medical equipment.

Jim Baumbick, vice president of Ford’s Enterprise Product Line Management team, said the company “wanted to help in any way we could in getting a range of critical protective gear in the hands of these brave men and women in the medical community fighting COVID-19 on the front line.”

“We see the need,” he added. “We just want to jump in and find a way to help.”

This is the sort of thinking that won World War II. It will also win the war against the coronavirus.

I Question The Wisdom Of This Decision

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak (D) issued an emergency order barring the use of anti-malaria drugs such as chloroquine for Coronavirus patients. This seems very odd to me as those drugs have had some success in curing the disease.

The article includes information from the Associated Press (with emphasis added by The Gateway Pundit):

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s governor on Tuesday night issued an emergency order banning gatherings of more than 10 people in the state indoors or outdoors, a more aggressive move to try to stop the spread of the coronavrius.

Sisolak said the order does not apply to private homes or the homeless, but includes places like social clubs, parks, libraries and sports fields.

Sisolak signed an emergency order earlier Tuesday barring the use of anti-malaria drugs for someone who has the coronavirus. The order restricting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine came after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment and falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. Sisolak said in a statement that there’s no consensus among experts or Nevada doctors that the drugs can treat people with COVID-19.

I believe President Trump said that the drug had been previously approved for use as a malaria treatment and was showing promise as a treatment for coronavirus (when combined with azithromycin). We may actually have some test results on the use of these drugs by the end of this week. So far there is valid anecdotal evidence that the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin will slow the progression of the coronavirus and shorten the time a person has the virus.

I think if I contracted the virus in Nevada, I would leave the state quickly in case the virus got worse–I would want to have all options available to me in case I got really ill.

Recognizing A Long-Standing Problem

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about America’s dependence on Chinese manufacturing for inexpensive products.

The article reports:

American companies that produce essential goods in China should plan to shift their operations back to the United States or other Western countries, according to a senior Republican lawmaker.

“We’re staring into a significant, significant crisis of supply chain,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told the Washington Examiner. “Cheap labor or cheap manufacturing be damned if you are reliant on them for your life and livelihood.”

Gardner’s warning was spurred by the shortage of hospital masks in the United States, a dearth driven by Beijing’s refusal to allow American companies that make the products in China to ship them out of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. And he’s not alone in that sentiment, raising the possibility that anger over China’s self-interested response to the coronavirus outbreak could produce one of the most dramatic alterations of global economics in decades.

“Because of the coronavirus problem, people are recognizing that any supply chain that has single points of failure is incredibly vulnerable,” the Heritage Foundation’s Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow in the organization’s Asian Studies Center, told the Washington Examiner. “China is going to be very concerned about decoupling, offshoring, [or any] redirection of investments out of China.”

Obviously, the coronavirus has caused American companies to rethink outsourcing manufacturing to China, but the threats by the Chinese government have not helped the situation.

The article notes:

That suspicion of China reflects the degree to which the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the tensions between the world’s two largest economies. American officials are angry that Chinese Communist officials censored the early warnings that a new virus had emerged in Wuhan. In response, fuming Chinese diplomats have accused the U.S. Army of starting the pandemic while reminding the West that China controls key parts of the medical supply chain.

“There could be nothing more ham-handed and catastrophic than for the Chinese to talk some more about ‘how the U.S. created coronavirus, and, by the way, maybe we’ll cut off pharmaceuticals,’” Cheng said. “You want to have a situation where there really is that kind of a backlash, where the U.S. actively tries to not only decouple but move specifically away from China? That’s inviting that kind of a backlash.”

America can’t afford to outsource its drug manufacturing to a country that threatens to cut off the supply. It’s time to bring drug manufacturing home and employ American workers.

Sometimes There Just Aren’t Any Words

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article by Robert Spencer about a recent statement by Khadar Bin Muhammad, the imam of the Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah in Syracuse, New York.

The article reports:

In a video posted on YouTube last week and reposted by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the learned imam explains it all for us. Offering us a revelation that the Center for Disease Control and everyone else who is working on the coronavirus crisis have overlooked, the imam explained that “safety comes through tauhid,” that is, Islam’s concept of monotheism. So if you don’t want to contract the coronavirus, turn to Allah. Khadar Bin Muhammad says: “Every destruction and every harm comes through shirk” – that is, having other gods besides Allah – “and through worshipping other than Allah, believing in other than Allah, and thinking that [anything] other than Allah can harm you or have an effect on you. All harm comes through that. That is why you see the kuffar [infidels] are the scaredest people.”

The infidels aren’t just scared when they should be trusting in Allah. They are also the cause of all the trouble in the first place – specifically infidel women. According to Khadar Bin Muhammad, the coronavirus is a manifestation of Allah’s wrath against their outrageous immodesty. “How many women do we see,” he asked, “may Allah guide them and protect them, who walk around and show their ankles? Is this not part of her awra [private parts]?”

According to a statement in the hadith, every part of a woman’s body except her face and hands are private parts.

The article explains:

Khadar Bin Muhammad said that women’s ankles were part of her private parts. As strange as it may seem, this is not an eccentric view in Islam. A hadith depicts Muhammad saying to a woman, “‘O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this,’ and he pointed to her face and hands” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4092).

This is the important quote from the article:

So that’s the imam’s message for women: take off the mask, put on the niqab, and pick up the Qur’an, and the coronavirus will go away. Won’t it? And seriously, while it is easy to laugh at this, isn’t Khadar Bin Muhammad endangering his hearers by preaching this nonsense?

Somehow I don’t think that women covering their ankles is going to stop the spread of coronavirus. Not all cultures and religions are equal.

Skewing The News Can Have Consequences

Bias in news reporting comes in a variety of ways. One way is to leave out critical parts of a story in order to give a totally misleading impression. Unfortunately the news media did that recently in a situation where someone died.

Townhall posted an article that illustrates how harmful and misleading media bias can be.

The article reports:

Media outlets and journalists on social media heavily pushed a story about a woman and her husband drinking fish tank cleaner because it contained chloroquine phosphate after President Trump had mentioned the medicinal version of chloroquine could be used to help treat COVID-19.

After drinking the cleaner, the couple began to feel sick and were rushed to the hospital, where her husband later died and she was put in intensive care. She told NBC News they drank it out of fear of contracting the coronavirus and had heard Trump talking about chloroquine to treat patients.

However, some of the reports and social media left out the fact the couple did not ingest the medicinal form of chloroquine that Trump had said could be used to help cure those infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.

Axios’ story about the incident completely left out the part about them ingesting fish tank cleaner. Their tweet for the original story has been deleted and an editor’s note was added to the story hours after it was first published.

…Journalists on Twitter often left out the part explaining the couple did not use the tablet form of chloroquine, racking up thousands of retweets and likes off of the false premise.

NBC News Correspondent Heidi Przybyla’s tweet about the story went viral, but she did not add the key detail until two hours later and at the very bottom of her thread, which has received far less attention.

The most blatant example of journalistic malpractice was found in a tweet by Axios and the response by Jennifer Rubin:

Understand as you read this that the political left would love to see President Trump’s daily coronavirus updates go away. Why? Because when the President talks to the people directly, Americans see a man handling the situation as well as could be expected. The media spin rooms try to spin what was said, but if people see it for themselves, the spin has less impact.

Please follow the link to the article at Townhall. It shows a number of tweets attempting to blame President Trump for the death of the man who drank fish tank cleaner. While the man’s death is a tragedy, no one told him to drink fish tank cleaner. It was a really dumb thing to do. However, the reporting of this tragedy is only one example of how irresponsible our mainstream media has become.

The Effort Continues

Just The News posted an article today about Congress’ continued effort to pass legislation that will help Americans cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The Senate on Monday afternoon resumes efforts to pass a trillion-dollar spending bill to help the country survive the severe economic impact of the coronavirus, following a failed vote Sunday that has put financial markets on edge.

The measure in the GOP-controlled chamber failed to get 60 votes to begin debate.

The failed vote has resulted in Democrats and Republicans blaming each other, with the virus rapidly spreading and threatening to inflict severe damage on the U.S. economy – from large-scale unemployment to a recession to businesses across the country shuttering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote pointed his finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The House speaker showed up, and we’re back to square one,” the Kentucky Republican said.

…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and fellow Democrats didn’t provide McConnell with enough votes to pass the bill in large part because, he argued, the money to help corporations doesn’t have enough restrictions and because of the lack of money for state and local governments.

The spending measure – now projected at more than $1.5 trillion – failed Sunday on a 47-47 vote. Five GOP senators are in coronavirus quarantine, making passage of the bill even more difficult for McConnell.

At this point, Congress does not represent the American people and is not acting in their behalf. It is time to withhold the salaries of Congress and all Congressional employees until a relief bill for ordinary Americans is passed. If the American people are not being helped in this crisis, Congress should not be paid.