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Thu, 09 Apr 2020
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Take 2

Reporters without masks grill Trump about not wearing a mask

trump fauci
Reporters at the White House press briefing on Sunday repeatedly asked President Donald Trump why he chose not to wear a medical mask.

One reporter, who was not wearing a mask, noted the former Vice President Joe Biden said he would start wearing a mask outdoors, and he asked President Trump if he and the White House task force would start wearing masks.

"Are we getting to the point where we might see the members of the coronavirus task force also wear face coverings?" the reporter asked.

Trump said the advisory was voluntary and that he would have no problem with anyone wearing a mask.

Another reporter asked why the first lady recommended that Americans wear masks when they were in public.

"She feels that way," Trump said.

"I would wear one," he said. "Would you like me to wear one right now? That would be a little awkward, I guess. But again, I would wear one if I thought it was important."

Comment: See also:

Star of David

Illegal Israeli settlements turn Palestinian family's house into a cage

illegal settlements
© screen grab from Geomolg
The Gharibs' house in Beit Ijza, caged by a fence and surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Givon Hahadasha, as seen here in a 2018 satellite image, west of Jerusalem
"If you give me all of Israel's money, I would never concede an inch of my land."

Palestinian Saadat Sabri Gharib, 38, had never imagined that his house, which was built by his father in 1979, would be turned into a very narrow cage surrounded by barbed wire and surveillance cameras.

Gharib's house is located in the Biet Ijza neighbourhood, west of occupied Jerusalem. It was surrounded by about 100 dunams of land owned by Gharib's father. However, the Israeli settlers stole all of this land and kept the house, which is only 500-metres square.

Gharib told Anadolu Agency, that since 2008, his house has been turned into a very small cage surrounded with concrete walls and located in the middle of an Israeli settlement. It has only a very narrow passage with 12 cameras monitoring it.

Gharib, his mother, his wife and three children live in this house. "Our house is a real prison," he explains, adding:


Tragic: An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

Coronavirus test.
© Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP
Coronavirus test.
A man in Chicago suburb Lockport Township killed his wife and then himself this week, police say. On Thursday evening, police responded to a wellbeing check at the couple's home, where they found Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, dead, NBC Chicago reported. An autopsy found that each died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

The couple's family told police that Jesernik was afraid that they both had COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. Schriefer was reportedly tested for the virus two days earlier after having trouble breathing but hadn't yet gotten results.

When they arrived, police found Jesernik and Schriefer in separate rooms, with a loaded revolver near Jesernik's body. Jesernik's death was ruled a suicide, and Schrieffer's death had been ruled a homicide. Authorities have said that both tested negative for COVID-19. Illinois has more than 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 243 deaths as of reporting.

Comment: The fear pandemic is slowly spreading, and tragically encroaching, on the minds and souls of individuals; those who are at the mercy of information provided by the corporate media and the bought and paid for "authorities" - who work for the government and other corrupt bodies.

Magic Wand

COVID-19 and the disappearance of SJWs

Social justice warriors
During 2019 BC (Before Coronavirus), every morning brought at least one or two headlines of some person or group newly offended in the culture wars. Some sportscaster would make an innocuous comment, be labeled a misogynist, and find himself packing his bags. A speaker would arrive at a college campus where an angry mob would shout her down as a racist and drive her from the stage. Parents protesting a sex education program promoting masturbation for elementary school students were attacked as homophobes.

These were just some of the burning issues of 2019 BC.

In 2020 AC, not even crickets.

Oh sure, some have called President Trump a racist for using the term "the Chinese Virus" to describe COVID-19. I would quarrel with this term not as racist, but as inaccurate. As some others have noted, we should call it the "CCP Virus," or the Chinese Communist Party Virus, to remind readers who was responsible for this pandemic.

No - like an 18-wheeler loaded with toilet paper roaring down the freeway - may it arrive soon! - the coronavirus has run over and flattened almost all other news, including stories of micro-aggressions, hidden racism, and whether a man can become a woman. Those days are gone, at least for now.


Coronavirus lockdown: We are so afraid of death, no one even asks whether this 'cure' is actually worse

social distancing
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." The words are Franklin D Roosevelt's. His challenge was recession, not disease, but his words have a wider resonance.

Fear is dangerous. It is the enemy of reason. It suppresses balance and judgment. And it is infectious. Roosevelt thought government was doing too little. But today fear is more likely to push governments into doing too much, as democratic politicians run for cover in the face of public panic. Is the coronavirus the latest and most damaging example?

Epidemics are not new. Bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, typhoid, meningitis, Spanish flu all took a heavy toll in their time. An earlier generation would not have understood the current hysteria over Covid-19, whose symptoms are milder and whose case mortality is lower than any of these.

Red Flag

Tracking site suggests White House model is overestimating coronavirus hospitalization

Deborah Birx
© MANDEL NGAN / Contributor
Deborah Birx
Web site that tracks actual hospital beds in use suggests the model used by top White House health officials to project the trajectory of the coronavirus has so far overestimated the number of Americans hospitalized by the disease by tens of thousands.

Those projections, popularly known as the "Murray" model after the model's lead author, University of Washington professor Christopher Murray, were explicitly cited by Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, at a press conference in the last week.

Birx told reporters that Murray's model, which predicts a shortage of tens of thousands of hospital beds throughout the country by the middle of April, underscored the task force's "concern that we had with the growing number of potential fatalities" based on the model's projections.

Eye 1

Stepmother charged with murdering 11-year-old boy after claiming he was kidnapped and she was raped by intruder

Letecia and Gannon Stauch
It was January 27 when 11-year-old Gannon Stauch disappeared from his Colorado Springs home. He missed school that day, and his stepmother, Letecia Stauch, reported him missing shortly before 7 p.m. that night.

Letecia's story about what happened the day Gannon disappeared kept changing, and despite her interviews with the media where she denied she had anything to do with the little boy's disappearance, she was arrested a month after she reported him missing and charged with his murder.

Letecia initially said that Gannon left their home around 3:15 p.m. on the day he disappeared to walk to his friend's house, but when he didn't come home for two hours, she reported him missing, The Daily Beast reported. A neighbor would later tell police his home-security video showed Letecia and Gannon leaving their family home that morning and Letecia returning home alone hours later.


Trump touts anti-malaria drug as Covid-19 cure, urges India to lift export ban

© Reuters / Lindsey Wasson
Praising the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for Covid-19 and claiming he would take a pill himself, if infected, US President Donald Trump has urged Indian PM Narendra Modi to lift a ban on its exports.

The federal government has already accumulated some 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine in its national stockpiles, and is seeking to acquire more, even though the drug's effectiveness against Covid-19 is still being tested and remains questionable.

"After a call today with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is giving serious consideration to releasing the hold it put on a US order for hydroxychloroquine," Trump announced at a White House coronavirus task force briefing.

China's exports of key medical supplies rise to $1.5 BILLION amid global shortage of anti-virus gear

As the coronavirus landed in Europe and the US, the former epicenter of the outbreak, China, has exported to other countries medical supplies worth $1.45 billion (10.2 billion yuan) to battle the deadly pandemic.

The key supplies, including billions of masks, millions of protection suits and infrared temperature detectors, as well as 16,000 units of ventilators, were sent overseas in one month from March 1 to April 4, the country's General Administration of Customs announced on Sunday, according to state-linked outlet Global Times.

According to Chinese Ministry of Commerce, exports of medical supplies have been increasing and the government is not going to impose any restrictions on the vital shipments. As of Saturday, 54 countries and 3 international organizations inked commercial procurement contracts for medical supplies with Beijing.

Apparently reacting to the some reports that the European countries received faulty medical supplies, the ministry said that Chinese producers caught sending medical goods with quality problems will face "severe" punishment.

Arrow Down

Coronavirus death rate much lower than previously reported, study says

medical worker
The coronavirus may not be as deadly as previously suggested, according to a new study that accounts for cases that were not diagnosed.

The study published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases estimated that the death rate will be 0.66%, which is much lower than figures between 2% and 3.4% that have come out of Wuhan, China, according to CNN.

Researchers said the lower coronavirus mortality rate was determined by accounting for cases that went undiagnosed — possibly because they were mild or had no symptoms.


More than a quarter of a million people have now recovered from Covid-19

recovery coronavirus covid-19 patient
© Reuters/David Ryder
90-year-old Geneva Wood leaving a Seattle hospital after recovering from Covid-19.
Perhaps the most under-reported statistic in the entire coronavirus pandemic passed an important milestone on Sunday as 250,000 were marked as having recovered from the illness.

The onward march of the death toll and number of confirmed cases has prompted countless hours of media coverage, as the virus spread around the globe. However, the number of people who are officially recorded as having recovered from the disease receives far less attention.

The important stat climbed past the quarter of a million barrier (to 252,478) on Sunday, as more than 20 percent of confirmed carriers of the virus have officially overcome the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Comment: Italy, whose elderly population was particularly hard hit, is reporting a drop both in fatalities and in the number of patients in intensive care.
The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care has fallen in Italy for the first time since the outbreak began, while the number of new deaths also declined slightly, but remains high at 681 cases in 24 hours.

The number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care in Italy fell by 74 between Friday and Saturday, marking the first time that number has declined since the pandemic reached the country in mid-February. Just under 4,000 patients in Italy are now in a serious or critical condition.

The country remains one of the hardest-hit in Europe, though authorities are beginning to see some faint rays of hope. A total of 681 deaths were reported since Friday, compared to 762 the previous day. Deaths peaked the previous Friday, with 919 people succumbing to the virus in one day.