American Ingenuity At Work!

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about a very unique church service.

The article reports:

In footage of two instances that went viral on Thursday and Friday, Christians gathered in the government-approved venues of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart and a Las Vegas casino to engage in the worship that authorities have deemed non-essential.

In a Thursday tweet that was retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence, Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed posted footage of a worship service in a Vegas casino, writing, “Packed house at #EvangelicalsForTrump prayer & praise event in Las Vegas. NV Governor banned church services but casinos can operate at 50% capacity. So we are praying in a casino.”

…According to The Post Millennial, a similar event also took place recently in the grocery section of a Wal-Mart in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, a town near Pittsburgh. In April, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe urged churchgoers to find different ways to practice their religion than gathering in churches. “Religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings and to avoid endangering their congregants,” he advised. “Individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay-at-home order is lifted.”

Wolf took flak when he broke his own state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions in June by marching in solidarity with hundreds of protesters in Harrisburg following the death of George Floyd. In Harrisburg’s Dauphin County, gatherings were restricted to 25 people or fewer at the time, according to Pennsylvania’s color-coded reopening plan.

The article concludes:

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the tension between civil and ecclesiastical authorities nearly to the breaking point in states such as California, where many congregations are defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 13 order that re-instated lockdowns for churches and other establishments deemed non-essential by state authorities.

This week, Ventura County sued Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, for holding no-mask, no-distance indoor services. Rob McCoy, its senior pastor, said, “We would be the first to be masked and distanced, and willingly so, if this were meriting it, and it doesn’t. This isn’t a health issue, it’s an ideological issue.”

Grace Community Church, a congregation in Los Angeles pastored by prominent author and theologian John McArthur, also made headlines last month when he and the church elders penned an extensive statement explaining why they believe the secular government did not have legitimate authority to forbid in-person assembly indefinitely.

Explaining how they complied with state mandates at first, the church leaders justified their civil disobedience in part by claiming that the lockdowns done in the name of public health were causing spiritual damage to their parishioners. “Opportunities for believers to serve and minister to one another have been missed,” they wrote. “And the suffering of Christians who are troubled, fearful, distressed, infirm, or otherwise in urgent need of fellowship and encouragement has been magnified beyond anything that could reasonably be considered just or necessary.”

We need to be very careful not to give up our civil liberties in the name of preventing the spread of a virus. We know a lot more about the coronavirus now than we did at the beginning. We have developed a few successful protocols for treating the virus, and we have a fairly good idea of who is at risk from the virus. It is time to reclaim our civil liberties before we lose them for good.

Actions Have Consequences

WJLA is reporting the following today:

A rape suspect who was released from jail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Ibrahim E. Bouaichi, went on to kill the woman who had accused him, police in Virginia say.

On Wednesday, July 29, officers found a woman shot to death on S. Greenmount Drive. It was Alexandria’s first homicide of the year. The victim was later identified as Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had testified against Bouaichi in Alexandria District Court in December. He was indicted on rape charges and jailed without bond.

When the pandemic hit, Bouaichi’s lawyers argued that he should be freed while awaiting trial because the virus endangered both inmates and their attorneys.

Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond, ordering him not to leave his Maryland home unless meeting with his lawyers or court officials, The Washington Post reports. He was freed on April 9. Gonzalez was notified the same day, according to the Alexandria Sheriff’s office.

I have never understood the reason for letting violent prisoners out of jail due to the coronavirus. It seems to me that if you limit the number of people coming into the prison, you should be able to limit the number of cases of the virus. The virus is not capable of coming into the prison without being brought in by someone from outside. Taking temperatures of workers and practicing basic hygiene should be enough to keep prisoners safe. Letting out violent prisoners does not keep anyone safe.

When Red Tape Meets Medical Care

On Monday The Washington Examiner posted an article illustrating how the handling of the coronavirus in New York provides a look into the potential problems with government healthcare.

The article reports:

I have a lot of fears in life: sharks, heights, wrinkles, government controlling my healthcare.

Recently, the New York Times provided plenty of fodder supporting the latter anxiety, revealing the results of a study it conducted that examined the disparities between public and private healthcare at the height of the pandemic in New York City. The disparities included staffing levels, differences in the age and type of equipment available, and access to drugs and experimental treatments. As one might guess, patients at the city’s community facilities fared far worse than those in private facilities, with their mortality rate 3 times higher in some cases.

All hospitals saw higher staff-to-patient ratios than best practices would recommend. In a typical emergency room, that figure should look like 1 nurse for every 4 patients. But during COVID-19, private facilities experienced ratios closer to 1 nurse for every 6 to 7 patients. At the government hospitals, that number was 1 nurse for every 10 to 15, and at times even 20 patients.

Less time per patient meant fewer tests, less information, and less monitoring. Several patients woke up from medically induced comas and, in confusion, removed their oxygen masks, leading to death. This occurred at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where staff referred to the patients as “bathroom codes” as their bodies were typically discovered near the bathroom 30 to 45 minutes later. One doctor told the New York Times that for every 10 deaths he saw, two to three patients could have been saved with the proper care.

The article goes on to explain that despite the makeshift hospitals put up to serve patients during the epidemic, those hospitals were barely used.

The article notes:

The paper (The New York Times) looked at the hospital set up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to study why this occurred. Though the center was equipped with 470 beds and hundreds of employees (many of them out-of-state healthcare providers being paid handsomely), it ultimately saw only 79 patients and closed its doors after one month. It was a catastrophic failure, the kind only government can pull off.

Patients were not admitted due to red tape, delays due to the need to train workers on computers and other problems. Meanwhile, many patients died. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The problems in New York were due to red tape, cronyism, extensive bureaucracy, and the general inability of the government to respond quickly to a crisis.

At some point Americans need to learn that there are charitable organizations out there that do a better job of responding to an emergency than the government. The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, and the Red Cross are a few of these organizations. I live in a city that was hit hard by hurricane Florence. It was encouraging to know that as the storm was bearing down on the city, Operation Blessing was parked nearby out of harm’s way ready to come in and provide meals and supplies to the people who were impacted by the storm. The recovery efforts in my city were largely undertaken by religious and charitable groups and ordinary citizens. A friend who is a teacher and realized that he wouldn’t have classes for a while gathered a group of friends and a few chainsaws and went around helping people move trees off their houses and clear streets. It’s time to get back to individual responsibility–even in healthcare.

 

When Medicine Becomes Political

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that included two charts about the coronavirus.

These are the two charts:

The first shows the rate of death from coronavirus by country:

The second chart shows the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine:

The government’s interference in the treatment of the coronavirus is costing the lives of Americans. I won’t speculate on the motive of those involved, but this needs to stop.

The article notes:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a leading non-partisan professional association of physicians across the United States.

Today the AAPS filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to compel the release to the public of hydroxychloroquine by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

The general rule in a situation like this is ‘follow the money.’ The question that needs to be asked is, “Who has investments in the companies searching for a vaccine? How much money will the investors make if a vaccine is found and Americans are forced to take it?” It should also be noted that hydroxychloroquine costs about 60¢ a pill versus some of the drugs being used to treat the coronavirus that cost as much as $6000 a pill. What is the profit margin on the $6000 pill? Unfortunately, this may be another example of Big Pharma putting profits ahead of the welfare of Americans.

Another Way To Handle The Coronavirus

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about how the coronavirus has impacted Sweden.

The article reports:

After months without lockdowns, school closures and other mitigation measures widely imposed across the world, Sweden’s coronavirus cases and deaths have fallen to such minimal levels as to revive the debate over its so-called herd immunity strategy.

Some Swedish officials are far from declaring victory, warning there could be a second wave and that too many elderly died in the country during its comparatively lax pandemic restrictions. The country’s population-adjusted death rate, meanwhile, is in the top 10 worldwide, but lower than the rates for Italy, Spain and even New York, where heavy lockdowns prevailed.

…Throughout March, as much of the Western world was shutting down large swaths of its economies and strictly limiting individual mobility with stay-at-home orders, Sweden opted for a much lighter touch, refusing to close down service industries, leaving schools largely open, and allowing its borders to remain open. It did restrict large gatherings for a time, while some schools were closed.

The article concludes:

Throughout the pandemic, Swedish authorities have insisted that their country’s approach was one rooted in years of epidemiological research and that much of the rest of the world abandoned that data in favor of panic and hysteria.

“It was as if the whole world had gone mad,” Tegnell said several weeks ago, citing the worldwide rush to lock down and quarantine. “The cases became too many, and the political pressure got too strong. And then Sweden stood there rather alone.”

The epidemiologist has several times argued that the true results of various countries’ approaches to the coronavirus pandemic will only become clear after several years’ worth of study.

I think it may be time to reevaluate our response to the coronavirus. Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story.

Squelched By Social Media

This video was posted at YouTube. It has been taken down on some social media as it has gone viral with information that does not agree with the current political narrative. I am posting it here so that if it gets taken down, it will still be accessible. The video is of doctors stating that hydroxychloroquine is a safe and effective treatment for the coronavirus. The doctors also note that sending children back to school has become a political matter rather than a scientific consideration. Again, the video is here for your consideration. The full video is available at Breitbart.com. As far as I know, it is not available anywhere else. I could not figure out how to share it from Breitbart.

 

The Five Questions That Will Determine The Presidential Election In November

The New York Sun posted an article yesterday by Conrad Black. The article lists the five things that will determine who wins the presidential election in November.

These are the five things listed in the article:

    • Can the President override the Democratic press’s thunderous campaign to terrorize the country over the coronavirus?

    • Can the president successfully connect Vice President Biden’s campaign to the hooligans, anti-white racists, and urban guerrillas who effectively are being encouraged by the corrupt Democratic mayors of many of the nation’s largest cities?

    • Will the economic recovery and the decline in the unemployment generated by the COVID-19 shutdown continue at its recent pace and strengthen the economy as a pro-Trump electoral argument?

    • Will the Republicans make adequately clear to the country the authoritarian and Marxist implications of the Biden-Sanders unity document?

    • Will special counsel John Durham indict senior members of the Obama Administration over their handling of the spurious allegation of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government in the 2016 election and Justice Department violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and how will Mr. Biden himself come through it?

The coronavirus has given us some insight into what unbridled government authority can do. Some of the regulations put in place by governors and mayors were based on common sense–things your mother told you when you were young like wash you hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t hang around with sick people. Other regulations were simply power grabs to prevent Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights–churches in Nevada restricted to a lower percentage of occupancy than casinos, protests to open businesses criticized and shut down while other protests (that included looting and riots) were allowed to continue. We have had a taste of out-of-control government in recent months. A vote for Joe Biden and whoever he chooses as his running mate will give us more of the same. Joe Biden has already stated that he wants to reassemble the Obama team–the group that gave us anemic economic growth, Benghazi where our ambassador was murdered followed by lying about it on television, ISIS, politicization of the Justice Department, and too many other scandals to mention.

The voters will choose. We need to pray for wisdom in voting and an honest election.

When Politics Overrides Science

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about some recent statements by Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale and director of that school’s Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory.

The article reports:

Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale as well as the director of that school’s Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, argues in a Newsweek op-ed this week that “the data fully support” the wide use of hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment of COVID-19. 

“When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective,” Risch argues in the column. 

…Risch, at Newsweek, argues that multiple studies over the past several months have demonstrated that the drug is a safe and efficacious treatment method for COVID-19.

Among the successful treatment experiments, he writes, are “an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths; four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths; a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine; and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk.”

The media’s portrayal of this drug (which was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955 has been commonly used to treat arthritis, lupus, and certain types of malaria) has been almost entirely negative. It should be noted that the drug costs about 60¢ a pill. Some of the other drugs pharmacy companies are recommending to treat the coronavirus cost as much as $6,000 a pill. You don’t suppose there might be a financial as well as a political aspect to the objections to hydroxychloroquine.

The article concludes:

Risch says the drug is most effective “when given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control.”

Though according to Risch the benefits of the drug are clear, he nevertheless concedes that the subject “has become highly politicized.”

“For many, it is viewed as a marker of political identity, on both sides of the political spectrum,” he said. “Nobody needs me to remind them that this is not how medicine should proceed.”

He also argues that “the drug has not been used properly in many studies,” and that delays in administering the drug have reduced its effectiveness. 

“In the future,” Risch says in the column, “I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence.”

“But for now,” he adds, “reality demands a clear, scientific eye on the evidence and where it points.”

Some objectivity on the part of the media would be nice.

Taking A Necessary Action In Regard To China

The tension between America and China is growing. There are reports out of China that the Chinese Communists are preparing to move on Taiwan. Many people assumed that after Hong Kong was brought under control, Taiwan would be the next step. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has ordered the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

Just the News posted an article about the closing of the consulate today.

The article reports:

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston “to protect American intellectual property,” the most recent episode in a growing divide between the two governments over such concerns as trade, the coronavirus, human rights and security.

The article concludes:

Firefighters responded to reports of papers being burned on the consulate grounds Tuesday night but were barred entry, according to Houston news media reports.

The consulate was informed Tuesday of the decision, according to the Associated Press.

The Chinese foreign ministry reportedly called the move “an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries.”

The ministry is also warning about countermeasures, the wire service also reports. The U.S. has an embassy in China and reportedly five consulates on the mainland.

Unfortunately, the relationship between America and China will probably get worse before it gets better. China has suffered economically because of the coronavirus and needs an enemy to unite its people as its economy suffers. The move on Hong Kong did not really draw a strong response from western countries, so they may be willing to gamble that this is the time to end Taiwan as a separate country. Stay tuned.

This Doesn’t Seem To Be The Answer

Just the News reported yesterday that one month after California Governor Newsom unilaterally ordered state residents to wear masks in most public settings, the average daily number of coronavirus cases in the state has increased by over 160%. Wow.

The article reports:

Newsom’s June 18 order “mandate[d] that face coverings be worn state-wide” while in “any indoor public space,” while on public transit, during virtually every form of work in which the public might be involved in some way, while walking through “hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities,” while in “any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance,” and in outdoor settings where six feet of distance between individuals is not possible.

Every state resident older than two years old is bound by the mandate; a small number of exceptions exempt individuals due to medical conditions and other limited circumstances.

…The website of Johns Hopkins University, which offers pandemic tracking tools for every U.S. state, says average daily cases in California have increased from 3,385 on the day of Newsom’s order to 8,889 as of July 16, an increase of 162%.

Though Newsom’s mask mandate appears to have had little effect on the trajectory of the virus in California, the governor nevertheless this week imposed additional mask requirements on the state, ordering that most students who return to school in the fall will be subject to “strong mask requirements,” namely that “all staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering” during the school day.

Can you imaging trying to keep a mask on the third grader all day? I don’t know why the masks did not help, but I think we need to look at this carefully. If the coronavirus spread that much with masks, why are we mandating them?

Facts vs. Politics

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about an interview of Doctor Robert Hariri on the Justice with Judge Jeanine Show last night.

This is what Dr. Hariri said about the coronavirus and about opening our schools:

The first information we got from China was terrifying. If you remember early on we thought this might be a virus that could have a mortality of 5 or 10 percent. That means somebody you know is going to die from this disease. Now fortunately the data has indicated that although this is a bad, bad virus, no doubt about it, ruthlessly lethal against the elderly and the infirmed, it is sparing the younger population.

In fact, kids for the most part will do very, very well, in most cases won’t experience any symptoms if infected. If they do experience any symptoms they tend to be very very mild. So that is something that is heartening when we’re thinking about having our kids return to the classroom.

…So what we know is this, COVID-19 is extremely limited in its lethality in children. In fact, on the list of the 10 most common causes of death in the 5 – 24 year old population, COVID doen’t even make the top 50.

The article includes a video of the interview:

I understand the concern for teachers. However, the science also states that children are not carriers of the coronavirus. Teachers with medical conditions might consider staying home, but there is no reason to force the entire student population to remain at home.

Why All Of Us Should Question What We Hear

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the number of coronavirus cases in Texas.

The article reports:

Texas health officials removed more than 3,000 reported coronavirus cases from an overall count after “probable” cases for people who were never tested were counted as confirmed cases.

“Since we report confirmed cases on our dashboard, we have removed 3,484 previously reported probable cases from the statewide and Bexar County totals,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health agency, said to the Austin American-Statesman.

“The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio Health Department was reporting ‘probable’ cases for people never actually tested, as ‘confirmed’ positive cases.- TDHS,” Fox 4 Dallas Evening News anchor Steve Eagar tweeted Wednesday. “What other departments make this same mistake?”

This is not an isolated problem. Recently a friend told me of an incident where a person who had tested positive for coronavirus was retested three times during a two week period. When two of the tests came back positive, the results were reported as a new case each time. Therefore, one person’s battle with the coronavirus resulted in the reporting of three new cases. There was another incident of a person who signed up to be tested, but left before being tested because of the extended wait time. Two weeks later she received a telephone call stating that she had tested positive. When she explained that she had not actually been tested, she was removed from the positive test list, but why was she on the list to begin with?

The article at The Washington Examiner concludes:

The change in cases comes as questions have been raised across the country about coronavirus testing, most notably in Florida. An investigation in the state determined that the test positivity rate reported by officials was inaccurate and that the number of positive tests was much lower than reported.

In May, coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx suggested that the actual number of coronavirus cases could be inflated by as much as 25%, while others have argued that cases have been undercounted.

Questions about the number of coronavirus cases have also been raised in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey over claims that suspected coronavirus patients are dying from causes other than the virus.

Be careful what you believe.

Sometimes We Don’t Know All We Think We Know

Yesterday France 24 posted an article detailing a series of events that contradict everything scientists think they know about the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Argentina is trying to solve a medical mystery after 57 sailors were infected with the coronavirus after 35 days at sea, despite the entire crew testing negative before leaving port.

The Echizen Maru fishing trawler returned to port after some of its crew began exhibiting symptoms typical of COVID-19, the health ministry for the southern Tierra del Fuego province said Monday.

According to the ministry, 57 sailors, out of 61 crew members, were diagnosed with the virus after undergoing a new test.

However, all of the crew members had undergone 14 days of mandatory quarantine at a hotel in the city of Ushuaia. Prior to that, they had negative results, the ministry said in a statement.

The article notes:

The head of the infectious diseases department at Ushuaia Regional Hospital, Leandro Ballatore, said he believed this is a “case that escapes all description in publications, because an incubation period this long has not been described anywhere.”

“We cannot yet explain how the symptoms appeared,” said Ballatore.

We really don’t know a lot about how this virus is spread or exactly how it works. It is a new virus, and it is going to take us a while to sort out how it spreads and how long it takes for people to come down with it.

How Is This Legal?

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about new regulations put in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York State. New York State had one of the highest death rates due to coronavirus because the Governor required nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients that had been discharged from the hospital. The Governor did not send those patients to the Javits Center, which had been refitted to handle coronavirus patients or to the hospital ship which had also been refitted. Instead he sent them into nursing homes where the population that was at the highest risk of dying from the disease lived. Now the Governor has chosen to overreact totally to the disease and issue a regulation that should be struck down immediately.

The article reports:

Comrade citizens, those who travel in the Northeast zone should beware, Minister Cuomo is going all-in with the COVID compliance mandates. All travelers into New York from “high-COVID” states, must provide their papers upon arrival or face a summons and $2,000 fine.

Is this even legal?

So What Is The Real Goal Here?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the push by some teachers unions to delay the opening of the new school year.

The article reports:

The results from a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the only reason children are being kept from school due to the China coronavirus is politics.

The New England Journal of Medicine released the results of a study on the China coronavirus that are shocking.  Children have a very low risk of catching the China coronavirus.

Based on the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the senior author concluded that:

“[E]ven if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.“

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It includes a lot of data to support the idea of sending children back to school.

I understand the concern that teachers have for their own safety as well as the safety of their students. Students in the early years of school are little petri dishes for any bug that is anywhere in the vicinity. For whatever reason, this does not seem to be true of the coronavirus. However, it has been proven that children need socialization (and that socialization strengthens everyone’s immune system).

I think it is time to send the children back to school. Some of the problems people are having dealing with the partial and full shutdown of our society are related to having children not attending school. I don’t think the academics are the real concern here–I think children need the time interacting with their schoolmates as part of their growth process as people.

One Of Many Reasons We Should Not Trust The Government With Our Money

Any time the government starts giving away money, you can almost always bet that there will be corruption. The stimulus plan put into effect to help the country get through the coronavirus crisis is not an exception.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday

  • At least $4 million in PPP loans went to a real estate company at the center of a federal bribery investigation involving a Los Angeles city councilman.
  • Shenzhen New World Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Wei Huang, received two PPP loans for hotels it operates in Los Angeles. 
  • Jose Huizar is accused of accepting more than $800,000 in bribes from a real estate company chairman referred to in a federal indictment as “Chairman E.” 
  • Charging documents against Huizar make it clear that the real estate company in question is Shenzhen New World Group, which is working on a 77-story skyscraper project in Huizar’s district. 

The article continues:

The Real Deal, a website that covers the Los Angeles real estate market, first reported the coronavirus relief loans to Shenzhen New World.

The funds, issued under the Paycheck Protection Program, went to two of Shenzhen New World Group’s limited liability corporations (LLCs), Shen Zhen New World I and Shen Zhen New World II. The LLCs control the L.A. Grand Hotel and Sheraton Universal Hotel, respectively.

California business registration documents show that Huang signed the articles of incorporation for both LLCs in 2010. Shenzhen is proposing to redevelop the L.A. Grand Hotel into a 77-story skyscraper.

The Treasury Department on Monday released a database of PPP loan recipients, showing that both of the LLCs received between $2 million and $5 million each.

The article concludes:

The complaint against Huizar, who has held office since 2005, alleges that the Chinese developer provided the bribes in part because of his position as chairman of the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

“HUIZAR was poised to significantly benefit Chairman E’s desire and plans to redevelop Property E and transform it into a 77-story skyscraper, making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River,” the complaint against Huizar says.

“This project would require official acts from HUIZAR at various stages of the City approval process.”

Huizar’s former aide, George Esparza, pleaded guilty on May 27 to racketeering charges as part of the probe.

According to Esparza’s plea agreement, he said that the Chinese developer began paying Huizar after he introduced a motion to keep the head of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety in his position.

Virginia Clark, who is listed as the point of contact on Shenzhen New World’s applications for the skyscraper, did not respond to a detailed list of questions about the PPP loans and the FBI investigation of Huizar.

The Small Business Administration, which approves the PPP loans, did not respond to a request for comment. Huizar’s lawyer also did not respond to a request for comment.

Please follow the link above to the article for further details.

Saving Money By Refusing To Support Organizations That Don’t Do Their Job

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The article reports:

The Trump administration is withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization. The administration submitted a letter to the UN but the letter itself hasn’t been made public yet. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. needs to give a year’s notice before withdrawing.

…WHO really has favored China’s version of events during the pandemic. Just last month the AP published a story revealing that China was aware early on that China was slow-walking information about the virus. Just a few days ago WHO revised its official timeline about when China notified it about the existence of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

We’re only hearing the very start of this now. It appears congressional Democrats are going to attempt to get involved in this decision. At a minimum they are going to try to drive a few new cycles off it. Get ready to hear the phrase “in the midst of a pandemic” 10,000 times.

The WHO (like the rest of the United Nations) has become political, ineffective, and unnecessarily expensive.

On May 20, 2019, The New York Post reported:

The World Health Organization spent nearly $192 million on travel expenses last year, with staffers sometimes breaking the agency’s own rules by traveling in business class, booking expensive last-minute tickets and traveling without the required approvals, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The abuses could spook potential donors and partners as the organization begins its week-long annual meeting Monday in Geneva, seeking increased support to fight a devastating outbreak of Ebola in Congo and other deadly diseases including polio, malaria and measles.

The nearly $192 million is down 4 percent from 2017, when the agency pledged to rein in travel abuses following an AP investigation.

The WHO has lost its way as an organization helping the world fight health issues. The coronavirus revealed the WHO as simply a mouthpiece for Chinese propaganda that allowed the virus to become a pandemic. We would have been better off following our own instincts than listening to the WHO. Remember, the WHO complained when President Trump shut down air travel from China to America. That alone saved thousands of lives. The WHO opposed it. That tells us all we need to know. It is past time to leave the WHO. I am sorry that we are required to wait a year to actually do it.

A Very Costly Decision

The decision to send coronavirus patients into nursing homes was a very expensive decision. In early June The New York Post reported that nearly one fourth of the deaths from the coronavirus occurred in nursing homes. More recent statistics show a higher percentage. A number of states required nursing homes to accept patients with the disease after they were discharged from the hospital. In New York, this is particularly aggravating because beds were available at the Javits Center and the hospital ship that was docked in the harbor. Both had been refitted to allow them to take patients with the virus. There was also the hospital set up by Samaritan’s Purse in Central Park. There were other options than nursing homes. The decision to send the coronavirus patients back to nursing homes in New York was made by Governor Cuomo.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about Governor Cuomo’s decision.

The article reports on Governor Cuomo’s latest efforts to avoid responsibility for that decision:

His latest bid is simply scandalous. Cuomo has the nerve to blame grieving family members and heroic nursing-home staffers, charging they were the ones who infected and killed as many 12,000 elderly and helpless residents.

Desperation is no excuse. This is shamelessness on stilts. And it is heartlessly cruel to blame the victims.

The outrageous claims came in a report released by state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, along with hospital administrators. Conveniently, the report they prepared absolves all of them of any responsibility. What a coincidence!

Coverups don’t get any more brazen. Or less credible.

The fact remains that Zucker wrote, with obvious hospital ­input, the March 25 order forcing all nursing homes to take people infected with the coronavirus. It ultimately resulted in 6,326 sick patients being transferred from hospitals to nursing homes between March 25 and May 8.

The homes and other long-term-care facilities were given no warning, advice or help in preparing to receive those patients. There were no inspections to learn whether the facilities had space and staff to segregate COVID patients from the long-term residents, most of whom were especially vulnerable to the virus.

The order was so flawed that it even blocked the facilities from asking if those being transferred had tested positive for the virus. All those demands run counter to federal recommendations and requirements.

The article continues:

While there may have been isolated cases of infected, asymptomatic visitors, the fact remains that the nearly 600 facilities involved did not have significant numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths until the days and weeks following the March 25 order. Some had zero cases until then.

The insistence that the order played no role won’t wash. For one thing, Cuomo’s office claims the Zucker report was “peer reviewed,” but only by organizations that have a stake in its conclusions.

For another, in addition to The Post, which first recognized the lethality of the order, numerous other media outlets have independently confirmed the consequences. In this case, that’s peer review worth the name.

Indeed, it became so obvious that the March 25 order was a fatal blunder that Cuomo effectively rescinded it on May 10. Then, with a quick pivot and a grinding of gears, he shifted into an ­unconscionable hunt for scapegoats.

And hasn’t stopped. Some days, there is more than one. Trump is a frequent target, with Cuomo saying recently that the president “makes up facts, he makes up science.”

He also accused the president of being in “denial of the problem” and added, “He is facilitating the virus, he is enabling the virus.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because many people say exactly the same things about Cuomo.

It is understood that Governor Cuomo wants to run for President. I don’t know how he could pull that off in 2020, but we can expect to see him on the Democrat ticket in 2024. He needs to put the nursing home death scandal behind him before he runs. I am not sure that a biased report by the State Health Commissioner can accomplish that.

The Latest Scandal

“Sharpiegate” has arrived. Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the latest dumb attack on First Lady Melania Trump.

The article includes screenshots of some tweets criticizing the dress that the First Lady was wearing during the celebration at Mount Rushmore.

The article includes the actual story behind the dress:

The dress was a creation of young fashion students in college. The dress is called Dancing Girls Dress.

It seems however that Alexander McQueen have gone above and beyond with introducing new initiatives to keep the fashion community connected during lockdown. Their recently introduced #McQueenCreators project has been as massive success on social media, bringing the fashion family together under one hypothetical McQueen shaped roof.

A sense on community is something that has always been close to the heart of the house. For their SS20 collection the McQueen team worked alongside Central Saint Martin’s MA students and The Stitch School to create the Dancing Girls Print, a print now synonymous with the collection as a whole and emblematic of McQueen’s commitment to collaboration.

Continuous, spontaneous sketches of dancing girls were created in a life-drawing class held at the educational space at the Alexander McQueen London flagship store last year.

This dress has a greater meaning. Every single member of the team contributed to the embroidery by hand on this dress becoming a true symbol of what the brand stands for. Alexander McQueen aims to nurture and contribute to the success of young designers and creatives, and this sense of community that went towards one single dress proves this.

The article concludes:

I’ll end with this tidbit – another Trump supporter reminds us of a former First Lady’s fashion choices.

Melania Trump is the best-dressed First Lady this country has ever had, whether you like her or not. She represents the United States well. She has surpassed the gold standard of fashionable First Ladies, Jackie Kennedy, much to the left’s dismay. Best of all, we aren’t talking about First Gentleman fashion and Bill Clinton.

If nothing else, this episode shows the political left’s desperation to find something to criticize. As the country rebounds from the economic impact of the coronavirus and begins to move forward again, it’s simply becoming more difficult to grouse.

Good News On The Jobs Market

Just the News posted an article today reporting that the U.S. added 4.8 million jobs during the month of June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. Economists had estimated that 3 million jobs would be added.

The article reports:

The increase in jobs comes as businesses begin rehiring following the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April and May.

The unemployment rate also dropped more than expected. The Dow Jones predicted that it would fall to 12.4% in June. It was 13.3% in May.

We are definitely moving in the right direction.

The article concludes:

Also released this morning were the weekly jobless claims, which showed that 1.43 million Americans filed for first time unemployment benefits last week. This number was slightly higher than the expected 1.38 million.

The new numbers will help inform Congress later this month as they debate the possibility of expanding benefits for unemployed Americans.

The expanded benefits system has been providing the unemployed with an additional $600 a week, and covering workers who are not typically included in the state benefit systems.

Sections of the country have begun pausing their economic reopening efforts as the coronavirus spikes sharply in the south west.

It is likely that Congress will ultimately agree to extend those benefits, but decrease the $600 addition.

The $600 addition has been cited by many business owners as the reason some of their employees are not in a hurry to return to work. Whatever Congress subsidizes we will see more of. When unemployment is no longer subsidized, we will see less of it.

I Guess They Really Are Not Interested In Tracing The Virus

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the people tracing the spread of the Covid-19 virus in New York City.

The article reports:

New York City officials are busy tracing those infected with COVID-19 and everyone they’ve come in contact with, but they have been ordered not to ask residents if they attended Black Lives Matter protests.

Avery Cohen, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told the website THE CITY that if people can volunteer such information, but “no person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest.”

De Blasio in in the process of hiring 1,000 people to map all the intersections in which a person testing positive for COVID-19 could have potentially infected others.

A slew of Democrats whined when Americans protested draconian lockdowns, but they are totally behind people rioting and looting in the days after George Floyd died on Memorial Day in the custody of the Minneapolis police.

De Blasio says the two instances are not the same, saying at a June 2 press conference that “400 years of American racism… is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services.”

Earlier this month, the city council’s health committee chairman, Mark Levine, tweeted, “Let’s be clear about something: if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protestors. Blame racism.”

This is about to get interesting. It has been three weeks since the protests began. The incubation period for the coronavirus is two weeks. Based on the theories that caused the country to lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we should be at epidemic stages right now. Why isn’t that happening? Is it happening and the news is not reporting it? I suspect that we are about to find out that the coronavirus is not nearly as contagious or deadly as we have been lead to believe. Now that we have had three weeks of protest and no epidemic, it’s time to open up the country and get back to prosperity, which is what the Democrat mayors and governors have been attempting to avoid all along.

We Can, You Can’t

Spectator USA posted an article yesterday about the resumption of Trump rallies in the coming weeks. The article illustrates the double standard being applied to large gatherings of people.

The article reports:

Are you ready for the second blame wave? As the country braces itself for an inevitable repeat surge in COVID-19 infections, we’re told red-state governors ‘opened too soon’. The next outbreak, we can be sure, will be something to do with the fact the President decided to resume his political rallies, approximately two weeks from now.

What nobody says is that individual or social behavior is the cause. It can’t possibly be the thousands of people closely together marching down city streets yelling and chanting, some with masks, some not. The guidelines fell completely by the wayside for the Democrats and much of network cable news.

In the middle of May, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser extended her lockdown order through to the June 8. Two days prior to her own lockdown order was to be reviewed, on June 6, she encouraged mass gatherings of protests, in a tweet saying ‘Let’s all meet here soon #BlackLivesMatter’, with a photo showing off her big block yellow letters painted down a DC street. In a press release about a possible spike in coronavirus cases in her city, after two weeks of protests she encouraged herself, Bowser announced that ‘DC Health has confirmed that a new peak was detected in the data, resetting the Districts Phase One count to nine days of sustained decrease.’

Florida congressswoman Val Demings, who features on the shortlist to be Joe Biden’s VP nominee, tweeted on June 8 that she had joined a ‘Healing and Hope Rally last night to speak with our community as America grieves.’ Two days later she scolded the President: planning to hold ‘mass rallies in Florida and elsewhere as we experience a resurgence in COVID cases is irresponsible and selfish’.

Wow! One set of rules for me, and one set of rules for thee.

The article concludes:

Either the funniest or most egregious behavior came from the Grim Reaper himself. Remember Daniel Uhlfelder? He is the Florida attorney who donned a Grim Reaper costume and harassed Florida beach goers with body bags, he secured through funds raised from Act Blue. Daniel was so serious about the deadly virus spreading through a state run by a Republican governor that he turned his novelty act into a traveling show. But those plans were apparently put on hold as he himself joined in and encouraged protests, as he tweeted on June 7, ‘We are here in the Florida panhandle in Deep South where hundreds have turned out for peaceful protest. No peace. No justice.’ Also, no virus, it seems.

These people want you to believe that this pandemic is caused by some magical woke virus, one which somehow skips those who have the right politics. What it actually does is raise the suspicion that Democrats and progressives have wanted to keep the economy shut down and people at home as long as possible to affect the outcome of the November election. Your job and your family or your church (also protected by the First Amendment) are not important. Our joining in large crowds to protest is.

There is almost assuredly going to be a spike in COVID cases and it will also almost assuredly be put on red-state governors and the President holding rallies. But Democratic activists and politicians themselves created this situation. They encouraged the world to disregard lockdown and people will now follow their lead, no matter how much they are scolded by the media. These people think we’re all stupid. We’re not.

What if there isn’t a significant uptick in coronavirus cases as a result of the protests? Would that mean that the past two months of lockdown was unnecessary? What kind of credibility would the CDC have if we simply see the normal increase due to reopening the economy? It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks.

I Really Do Wonder How We Are Going To Look Back On 2020

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about some recent statements by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The article reports:

Boston mayor Marty Walsh declared racism a “public health crisis” on Friday, and announced a proposal to transfer funds from the police department’s overtime budget to social services.

Walsh said $3 million would be immediately transferred from overtime for city police to the Boston Public Health Commission. The mayor will also propose that the City Council divert 20 percent of the polices’s overtime budget, or around $12 million, to other programs.

Is there anyone who actually believes this is going to make Boston safer?

The article concludes:

However, Walsh also praised the city police department, noting that use of force complaints dropped by 50 percent from 2013 to 2019. Over the same period, the crime rate dropped by 30 percent and the number of arrests dropped by one third.

“They have made this progress…by lifting people up, not locking people up,” Walsh said. “They, too, want to be a part of the solution, and they continue to deserve our respect and gratitude.” 

Calls have grown to “defund” police forces across the country following the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during arrest by Minneapolis officers. Massive demonstrations protesting Floyd’s death have spread across the country, devolving into riots and looting in some cities, including Boston.

At the same time, African Americans have also seen a higher mortality rate from coronavirus infections than in the general population.

This is pandering. The Mayor knows that moving the money away from the police department is not going to make anyone safer–in fact, it may put some neighborhoods in danger. This decision is bowing to the pressure of the mob that is currently running wild.

Something To Watch While Everything Else Is Going On

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about contact tracing in the era of the coronavirus. Since the article is behind the subscriber wall, I found it on Outline. The article reminds us how the government can easily abuse its power under the guise of tracking contacts to prevent the spread of a virus.

The article reports:

From The Hill, in a piece titled, “A day in the life of America’s contact tracing army,” comes this quote of Kelsey Green, a contact tracer working for the Carroll County Health Department in Maryland: “It’s not a fun job at times,” she said, in reference to the telephone calls she makes to people to inform them they may have come into contact with someone who’s tested positive for the coronavirus.

She went on to say: “A lot of people don’t want to hear it, but when they do hear it, they’re receptive and thankful. It seems a little intrusive, but it makes me so happy if someone answers [the phone], and I’m able to tell them, ‘Hey, you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive. Can you quarantine?’ “

Quarantine?

How about this as a response: Who the freak are you? Hang up, hang up quick. Hang up quick and call the police; there’s a stalker on the streets.

The article concludes:

If the government says you have been exposed to the coronavirus — then that’s it, you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. And now you must stay home. Now you must cede your civil liberties.

Now you must do as the government says.

Now you must obey.

This is America, post-COVID-19, and the “new normal.” Where are the Republican lawmakers on this?

Congress, at least the conservatives in Congress, need to step in and put a speedy end to these crazily unconstitutional designs with legislation that makes clear: Neither contract tracers nor their minions in the bureaucratic health fields have power to tell free citizens what to do, positive coronavirus test results be danged.

Free American citizens are only free so long as they are able to keep control of their most basic private and personal decisions. If the government can tell citizens what to do when they’re sick, or maybe sick, or might be sick, or have maybe crossed paths with someone who is sick, or maybe sick — well then, that’s the end of freedom in America as we know it.

The “new normal” is no America at all.

If we are still a country in five years, I wonder how we will look back on this. Please follow the link above to read the rest of the article.