This document is part of an archive of postings on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

30 July, 2021 

For What Will We Go to War With China?

Pat Buchanan gives us a dose of realism

In his final state of the nation speech Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his refusal to confront China over Beijing's seizure and fortification of his country's islets in the South China Sea.

"It will be a massacre if I go and fight a war now," said Duterte. "We are not yet a competent and able enemy of the other side."

Duterte is a realist. He will not challenge China to retrieve his lost territories, as his country would be crushed. But Duterte has a hole card: a U.S. guarantee to fight China, should he stumble into war with China.

Consider. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Manila we would invoke the U.S.-Philippines mutual security pact in the event of Chinese military action against Philippine assets.

"We also reaffirm," said Blinken, "that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty."

Is this an American war guarantee to fight the People's Republic of China, if the Philippines engage a Chinese warship over one of a disputed half-dozen rocks and reefs in the South China Sea? So it would appear.

Why are we threatening this?

Is who controls Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal a matter of such vital U.S. interest as to justify war between us and China?

Tuesday, in Singapore, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed the American commitment to go to war on behalf of the Philippines, should Manila attempt, militarily, to retrieve its stolen property.

Said Austin: "Beijing's claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law. ... We remain committed to the treaty obligations that we have to Japan in the Senkaku Islands and to the Philippines in the South China Sea."

Austin went on: "Beijing's unwillingness to ... respect the rule of law isn't just occurring on the water. We have also seen aggression against India ... destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan ... and genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang."

The Defense secretary is publicly accusing China of crimes against its Uyghur population in Xinjiang comparable to those for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg.

Austin has also informed Beijing, yet again, that the U.S. is obligated by a 70-year-old treaty to go to war to defend Japan's claims to the Senkakus, half a dozen rocks Tokyo now occupies and Beijing claims historically belong to China.

The secretary also introduced the matter of Taiwan, with which President Jimmy Carter broke relations and let lapse our mutual security treaty in 1979.

There remains, however, ambiguity on what the U.S. is prepared to do if China moves on Taiwan. Would we fight China for Taiwan's independence, an island President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger said in 1972 was "part of China"?

And if China ignores our protests of its "genocide" and "crimes against humanity" against the Uyghurs, and of its human rights violations in Tibet, and of its crushing of democracy in Hong Kong, what are we prepared to do?

Sanctions? A decoupling of our economies? Confrontation? War?

This is not an argument for threatening war, but for an avoidance of war by providing greater clarity and certitude as to what the U.S. response will be if China ignores our protests and remains on its present course.

Some of us can still recall how President Dwight Eisenhower refused to intervene when Nikita Khrushchev ordered Russian tanks into Budapest to drown the 1956 Hungarian revolution in blood. Instead, we welcomed Hungarian refugees.

When the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, President John F. Kennedy called up the reserves and went to Berlin to make a famous speech, but did nothing.

"Less profile, more courage!" was the response of Cold War hawks.

But Kennedy was saying, as Eisenhower had said by his inaction in Hungary, that America does not go to war with a great nuclear power such as the Soviet Union over the right of East Germans to flee to West Berlin.

Which brings us back to Taiwan.

In the Shanghai Communique signed by Nixon, Taiwan was conceded to be a "part of China." Are we now going to fight a war to prevent Beijing from bringing the island home to the "embrace of the motherland"?

And if we are prepared to fight, Beijing should not be left in the dark. China ought to know the risks it would be taking.

Cuba is an island, across the Florida Strait, with historic ties to the United States. Taiwan is an island 7,000 miles away, on the other side of the Pacific.

This month, Cubans rose up against the 62-year-old Communist regime fastened upon them by Fidel and Raul Castro.

By what yardstick would we threaten war for the independence of Taiwan but continue to tolerate 60 years of totalitarian repression in Cuba, 90 miles away?


29 July, 2021

Third dose of Pfizer vaccine boosts antibodies up to 11-fold against the Indian 'Delta' variant

A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine could offer strong protection against the Indian 'Delta' variant, data reveals, as a separate study finds protection provided by the vaccine could wane after six months.

New data released by the company on Wednesday showed antibody levels increased five-fold among people ages 18 to 55 who were given the booster shot. 

The third dose was especially effecting for the elderly, with antibody levels spiking 11-fold among people aged 65 to 85 who had already received the standard two doses.

In the slides published online, the researchers wrote there there is 'estimated potential for up to 100-fold increase in Delta neutralization post-dose three compared to pre-dose three.' 

The new data come at a welcome time with separate pre-print research finding that the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine falls from 96 percent to only 84 percent after six months. 

The Delta variant continues to spread across the country, making up at least 83 percent of all new infections.

Pfizer produces the most commonly used vaccine in the U.S., having been administered over 190 million times, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Early adopters of the vaccine may soon has their immunity to the virus slightly diminished. 

Research, which has not been peer-reviewed, led by Pfizer and Syracuse University in New York finds that the vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing the virus for six months. 

After the time-span, the efficacy slightly falls to only 84 percent.

If it continues to drop at that rate, researchers say, the vaccine could drop below 50 percent efficacy 18 months after administration. 

Those who are fully vaccinated and contract COVID are still less likely to experience serious symptoms or hospitalization, though.

Pfizer's vaccine was first given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December, and was first distributed to priority populations like the elderly and health care workers that month.

Those who received the vaccine first may have already had its efficacy drop, meaning a third dose could be required soon.

The company plans to submit its application for emergency use authorization for the third dose to the FDA as early as August, according to slides distributed before an earnings call. 

Clinical studies on a Delta variant-specific vaccine may begin soon as well.  

Pending regulatory approval, the company plans to kick off trials in August, and has even already produced the first batch of the vaccine to be used.

Rumbles about the potential for a third dose in the near future have been happening for months.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said in the past that he expects a third dose to be needed in the coming months.

Though, he said earlier this month that he does not expect booster shots to be needed for the fully vaccinated at this time.

Fauci said earlier this week, though, that those who are vulnerable to the virus even after vaccination still may require a third dose.

Some elderly people, and people with conditions like cancer or who have received an organ transplant, are found to have not developed the sane antibody levels as others post vaccine.

The Delta variant has also shown a rare ability to cause breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people.

The ability to cause breakthrough cases was cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the reason for the reintroduction of masks for fully vaccinated people in some parts of the country.  

If Pfizer's findings - which are not peer-reviewed - are correct, then the third dose could be a valuable tool in combatting the variant.

The company's findings also found that a third dose could be particularly effective in combating the South African Beta variant.

The variant accounts for less than 10 percent of active cases in the United States.

Pfizer also revealed on the earnings call that they are working on a flu vaccine that uses the same mRNA technology used to develop its COVID vaccine.

Moderna, who also developed an mRNA COVID vaccine, began trials of an mRNA flu vaccine at the start of the month.


Dan Crenshaw Tweets Stunning Revelation on New CDC Mask Guidelines

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new mask guideline for students, teachers, and staff in K-12 to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, as well as in certain indoor settings, again, also regardless of vaccination status. The move was met with swift criticism, especially and including from former President Donald Trump. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), though, takes issue with the data used to justify the new guidelines.

The “game changer” data the CDC used for the mask mandate is from a single study from India.

The study that influenced this decision? It followed healthcare workers who were vaccinated with a vaccine NOT EVEN APPROVED IN THE U.S.

That’s right. So they’re not even using a comparable case study that can be applied to vaccinated Americans.

The study was rejected in peer review. But CDC used it anyway. Remember what I said about public health officials losing our trust?

The excerpt Rep. Crenshaw references comes from Andrew Joseph's article published by STAT, "CDC Again Recommends Indoor Masking, Even for Some Vaccinated People." 

The excerpt in question reads:

An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told STAT that health experts do not have studies proving that fully vaccinated people are transmitting the virus. Rather, the official said, the updated guidance is based on studies showing that vaccinated people who contract the Delta variant have similarly high levels of virus in their airways, which suggested that they may be infectious to others. With other variants, vaccinated people had substantially lower levels of virus in their noses and throats compared to unvaccinated people.

Joseph also wrote:

The CDC says breakthrough cases still appear to be rare given how many people have been vaccinated, and the vast majority of infections are asymptomatic or mild. It’s also thought that because so many of those cases are so tame, many go undetected. However, many experts argue that breakthrough infections that cause no symptoms shouldn’t really be considered as cases. Mild or asymptomatic breakthrough infections are signs that the vaccines — whose top aim is to stave off death and severe illness — are doing their job, experts stress.

Guidelines on masks have been met with particular drama in the U.S. House of Representatives, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reimposed a mask mandate on the House floor. 

As Carson covered, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) gave a particularly impassioned floor speech about the absurdity of the mask mandate, especially while illegal immigrants testing positive continue to come to this country via the southern border.




28 July, 2021

Most Sailors Perceive ‘Crisis of Leadership and Culture’ in Navy, Congressional Report Says

A new congressional report on the U.S. Navy “found that a staggering 94% of sailors interviewed believe that the surface Navy suffers from a crisis of leadership and culture.”

Increased administrative burdens (750 annual reports per ship, most of them useless) and training not related to combat have eaten into the time American sailors are able to devote to honing mission-critical skills.

“The noncombat curricula consume Navy resources, clog inboxes, create administrative quagmires, and monopolize precious training time,” the report warns. The report highlights America’s glaring unpreparedness at a time when America’s primary strategic competitor, China, is beefing up its navy, threatening U.S. allies and interests around the world.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of the legislators who commissioned the report, said the results were “disappointing because it confirmed what I suspected.” He moved to commission a report after a string of incidents have destroyed U.S. Navy ships even under peacetime conditions.

The USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain ran into other ships, the USS Bonhomme Richard caught fire in a U.S. port, and American officers in the Persian Gulf surrendered their patrol crafts to what were little more than Iranian fishing boats.

The Navy has “lost a capital ship worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars on average every six months over the last several years,” said Cotton. “Those are not isolated incidents.”

According to the report, many sailors agree. “Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,” said one active-duty lieutenant. “They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color.”

Cotton said the “failures go back over multiple administrations,” but “it’s gotten worse with things like critical race theory.” Like the report, which was directed by two retired flag officers, the Navy’s problem transcends partisan politics.

The surface Navy—that is, ships on the water—is what would fight a major war. “We need a warfighting culture in our surface Navy,” Cotton said. Due to America’s long coastlines and few neighbors, a strong Navy has been our most critical security component since the founding era.

Cotton said, “A conflict with China would probably start and primarily remain a naval and aerial battle” because they lie across the vast Pacific Ocean. Yet “the surface Navy has lost its warfighting edge,” he lamented.

The bulk of a sailor’s training should be on “basic seafaring skills,” said Cotton, which is clearly lacking when our naval vessels are running into other ships. Even human trafficking training, which can be good, said Cotton, can be a distraction if it turns into half a day or more of training.

During the 1980s, marines and naval personnel practiced memorizing the Russian navy and army so that they could identify ships and tanks by their silhouette and know exactly what weapons their opponents had and how much time they had to get out of the way. Today, it’s safe to say America’s sailors spend too much time filling out paperwork and reading Ibram X. Kendi to do anything of the sort.

Cotton said Congress can take some action to solve the Navy’s unreadiness. For instance, careful oversight of naval maintenance schedules can help to reduce time spent on repairs, which is time sailors aren’t practicing maneuvers. But many of the Navy’s problems come down to leadership, said Cotton, especially after the Obama administration pushed out military leaders who refused to participate in social experimentation.

American security needs a sane administration that will promote solid officers. Leadership is sorely lacking now.


Will The Police Officer Who Flipped Woman’s SUV Face Charges?

On the evening of July 9, 2020, Janice Nicole Harper was traveling in her car on Highway 67 in Arkansas when police lights suddenly appeared in her rearview mirror.

Dashcam footage from the incident shows Harper, who was pregnant at the time, slowing her vehicle, switching on her hazard lights, and steering to the side of the road. Before she could stop or find an exit to pull over at, however, Arkansas State Trooper Rodney Dunn rammed her SUV, causing the vehicle to flip over.

Footage then shows Dunn approach the upside-down SUV and tell Harper to climb out of her passenger-side window.

“Why didn’t you stop?” he is heard asking.

“Because I didn’t feel like it was safe!” Harper cries out in obvious distress.

“Well, this is where you end up,” Dunn responds as Harper, then pregnant, struggles to exit the vehicle. “I thought it would be safe to wait until the exit.”

“No ma’am, you pull over when law enforcement stops you.”

If any ordinary citizen had intentionally rammed a pregnant woman’s vehicle, flipping it over in an attempt to stop her from speeding, they would be facing several criminal charges and a large payout to the victim. However, because Rodney Dunn is an Arkansas State Trooper, he is unlikely to do either.

Indeed, since this dangerous incident occurred, Dunn has remained on active patrol duty. No criminal charges were brought against him, despite performing an action—a maneuver known as a Pursuit Intervention Technique—that easily could have killed Harper and her unborn child. He is, however, facing civil charges.

Harper is suing Dunn and his two supervisors, Sgt. Alan Johnson, and Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant for negligence for using the PIT maneuver on her. According to the lawsuit, Harper was driving 84 miles per hour in a 70-mile-per-hour zone. Dunn turned on his lights to signal for Harper to pull over, which she responded to by slowing her speed to 60 miles per hour, turning on her hazard lights, and moving into the right travel lane to pull off of the highway in a safe manner. Because of the pitch black darkness and the reduced shoulder on the side of the highway, Harper wanted to find a safer place to pull off. Less than three minutes had transpired from the beginning of the pursuit when Dunn performed the maneuver, ramming Harper’s vehicle and causing it to crash into the concrete median and flip over.

Although Dunn recklessly endangered Harper’s life (and her unborn child’s) with an excessive use of force, it’s unlikely he will be forced to pay restitution because of privileges afforded to law enforcement that the rest of us don’t get.

Qualified Immunity Protects Police From Consequences
In the state of Arkansas, a driver is well within their rights to use hazard lights to signal to an officer that they are going to pull off the road when they find a safe place. In fact, that’s exactly what the State Police’s “Driver License Study Guide” says drivers should do.

Under “What to do When You Are Stopped,” it says to use “emergency flashers to indicate to the officer that you are seeking a safe place to stop.” So, even if Harper was being pursued for a more serious traffic offense, she should have still been allowed to follow these rules. The fact that she was only being pulled over for speeding just adds to the absurdity of the officer’s actions. As a pregnant woman driving on the highway alone and at night, it is only common sense for Harper to have pulled into a well-lit area with a wider shoulder. (This action protects police officers as well as citizens, it should be noted.)

This case demonstrates the urgency of abolishing qualified immunity, which is a legal principle that gives government officials, like law enforcement, immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff’s rights were violated by the official in a “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

If a non-officer had flipped someone’s car for simply speeding, there is little doubt they would face civil and criminal charges. But qualified immunity will most likely protect Dunn (once again) from facing the consequences of his actions. Even if Harper were to win this lawsuit, the payout would come from taxpayer money, not Dunn’s pockets.

How did we get here? The genesis of qualified immunity is nearly as suspect as the law itself. The doctrine was essentially created out of thin air by the Supreme Court in 1960, with no legal basis or mass public support. The statute includes something called the “Clearly Established Law Requirement.”

Because of the nature of this requirement, police officers are protected from consequences even if they violated someone’s civil rights if a court hasn’t previously ruled the exact actions to be unconstitutional in a prior case. Because of the fact that specifics in different cases can differ greatly, this allows for a lot of room for officers who acted unconstitutionally to get off scot-free.

Government Employees Should Not Have the Privilege to Violate Your Rights

Abolishing qualified immunity would hold officers liable for infringing on citizens’ rights, and act as an effective deterrent from these incidents occurring in the first place. If law enforcement understands that they (and not the local government) will have to pay for violations of civil rights, they would be less likely to violate those rights in the first place.

According to Clark Neilly of the Cato Institute, “Qualified immunity is a judge??made defense,” referencing the fact that it was made up in the Supreme Court rather than by the legislative process.

“[Qualified immunity] enables police and other government officials to escape liability for violating people’s rights…” wrote Neilly. “This has enabled cops to escape liability for everything from stealing property while executing a search warrant to savaging an unresisting suspect with a police dog.”

Because there aren’t many cases of state troopers recklessly using the PIT maneuver to flip a driver for speeding, there is a good chance that qualified immunity would apply in this case, and protect Dunn.

Qualified immunity is un-American. It flouts the philosophy on which our constitutional republic was founded, as was clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

Right in the introduction of the document, our founding fathers made sure to emphasize that the sole purpose of government is to protect our rights. As agents of the government inaugurated by the Declaration of Independence, that is what cops are supposed to do. “Protect and serve,” like it sometimes says on their squad cars. Not lord it over us like we’re mere peons—like Trooper Dunn did when he damn near killed a pregnant lady and then lectured her for not respecting his badge. That’s the kind of government we fought a Revolution to get free of.

When government officers violate the rights of citizens, as Trooper Dunn did when he flipped Janice Harper’s car, they are flipping upside-down the very purpose of their job and of the American government. Then we have the tyrannical state of affairs described by Frederic Bastiat in his classic work, The Law:

“The law perverted! The law—and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation—the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law becomes the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law is guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish!”

And qualified immunity makes such perversions of the law more frequent and more entrenched, because it systematically shelters officers of the law who commit them.

Abolishing qualified immunity is key to preventing police abuse. It’s also the American thing to do.




25 July, 2021 

Doctors Raise Awareness on Ivermectin Treatment for COVID-19

In an effort to help end the pandemic, an international coalition of medical experts is holding worldwide events Saturday to raise awareness about the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

Organizers of the World Ivermectin Day say doctors and supporters of the inexpensive FDA-approved drug will host free online and public events in over a dozen countries.

Two nonprofits—Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance and the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) group—who have been campaigning for the off-label use of ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19 say the event’s focus is to let more people know that the antiparasitic drug can treat COVID-19, possibly end the pandemic, and help eliminate fear of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“We have an incredibly positive and uplifting message to share: ivermectin treats and prevents COVID and it is the key to unlocking the never-ending cycle of pandemic peaks and personal restrictions and will help restart economies,” Dr. Tess Lawrie, cofounder of the BIRD group said in a press release.

Lawrie is also a co-author of a peer-reviewed meta-analysis study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics that found ivermectin to be effective against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus. Lawrie and her team concluded with a moderate level of confidence that ivermectin reduced the risk of death by an average of 62 percent, at a 95 percent confidence interval of 0.19-0.73, especially when prescribed early.

FLCCC Alliance also conducted their own review of 18 randomized controlled trials on COVID-19 treatment with ivermectin. They found “large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance.” The authors also said that studies on the prevention of COVID-19 reported significantly reduced risks of the disease with regular use of the drug.

Members of the FLCCC Alliance have developed various protocols for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19,  instead of having patients wait until they develop a severe illness to receive treatment at the hospital. These treatment protocols including one for the management of long COVID are being used globally.

The current standard protocol for COVID-19 positive patients is to isolate at home, avoid dehydration, rest, and take over-the-counter medications for fever, headache, cough, and body pain.

According to updated guidance from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 and who are at high risk of disease progression, are recommended to take a monoclonal antibody if hospitalization or supplemental oxygen is not required.

Despite evidence showing ivermectin may treat all stages of COVID-19 and reduce death and hospitalization as a result of its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, the FDA has not approved its use, saying that the drug isn’t an anti-viral. The federal regulator issued a warning that people should not take ivermectin intended for horses as the larger doses may be harmful to humans.

The NIH has not changed its neutral stance on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, while the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the use of the drug except in a clinical study. Both organizations cite insufficient data for not making a recommendation.

Unprecedented Censorship

Online discussions of ivermectin have faced an unprecedented level of suppression with doctors claiming that their videos are being taken down or their LinkedIn accounts closed.

Lawrie said she has experienced censorship with her work on ivermectin, claiming that her videos about the drug have been removed and posts censored on social media.

“I have experienced a lot of censorship ever since I started doing work on ivermectin (never before),” Lawrie told The Epoch Times via email. “I have had my post of my published peer-reviewed scientific manuscript removed from LinkedIn.”

She also said that many people have informed her that their accounts would be restricted or censored “if they post the work my company has produced on ivermectin or interviews that I have done.”

LinkedIn did not reply to a request for comment.

Dr. Mobeen Syed, chief executive officer of Drbeen Corp, an online medical education, said YouTube took down three of his videos on ivermectin within 24 hours.

“[Third] book burnt in 24 hours. @Youtube @TeamYouTube continue to burn books,” Syed said on Twitter on July 11. “This video was important to keep people safe who are using ivermectin regardless of what YouTube thinks.”

YouTube did not reply to The Epoch Times inquiry on clarification of which terms or conditions Syed’s videos had violated.

Ivermectin is not the only topic being suppressed or blocked by Big Tech firms. Social media posts about the lab leak theory that the CCP virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and information that goes against the narrative about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine has also been censored.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested at a White House briefing that people should be banned from all social media platforms if they post misinformation online about COVID-19 vaccines, alleging that this type of information was “leading to people not taking the vaccine.” Psaki’s suggestion has drawn widespread condemnation.

Regardless of the suppression of ivermectin around the world, people have found unique ways to get the information out. Social media posts of lawn signs have appeared in Manitoba, Canada with a simple message that reads, “Ivermectin treats COVID-19” along with the FLCCC website listed


The Pope is a Catholic after all

<i>He has been so liberal in many ways that his new Canons are a most refreshing reaffirmation of traditional Catholic morality</i>

Pope Francis has made the most extensive revisions to Catholic Church law in four decades, insisting that bishops take action against clerics who sexually abuse minors and vulnerable adults, commit economic fraud or ordain women. 

In many ways, the changes published on Tuesday integrate piecemeal reforms that have been made over the years to address clergy sexual abuse and financial scandals that have compromised the credibility of the hierarchy in the eyes of rank-and-file faithful.

The new provisions, released on Tuesday after 14 years of study, were contained in the revised criminal law section of the Vatican's Code of Canon Law, the in-house legal system that covers the 1.3 billion-member Catholic Church and operates independently from civil laws.

What are the new provisions?

The most significant changes are contained in two articles, 1395 and 1398, which aim to address shortcomings in the church's handling of sexual abuse.

The law recognises that adults, not only children, can be victimised by priests who abuse their authority.

The revisions also say that laypeople holding church positions, such as school principals or parish economists, can be punished for abusing minors as well as adults.

The Vatican also criminalised priests "grooming" minors or vulnerable adults to compel them to engage in pornography – the update is the first time church law has officially recognised as criminal the method used by sexual predators to build relationships with victims they have targeted for sexual exploitation.

The new law, which is set to take effect on December 8, also removes much of the discretion that long allowed bishops and religious superiors to ignore or cover up abuse, making clear that those in positions of authority will be held responsible if they fail to properly investigate or sanction predator priests.

A bishop can be removed from office for "culpable negligence" or if he does not report sex crimes to church authorities, although the canon law foresees no punishment for failing to report suspected crimes to police.

While the church has historically prohibited the ordination of women and the ban has been reaffirmed by popes, the 1983 code says only in another section that priestly ordination was reserved for "a baptised male".

The revised code specifically warns that both the person who attempts to confer ordination on a woman and the woman herself incur automatic excommunication and that the cleric risks being defrocked.

Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, said in a statement that while the position was not surprising, spelling it out in the new code was "a painful reminder of the Vatican's patriarchal machinery and its far-reaching attempts to subordinate women".

Reflecting the series of financial scandals that have hit the Church in recent decades, other new entries in the code include several on economic crimes, such as embezzlement of church funds or property or grave negligence in their administration.

What prompted the changes?

Ever since the 1983 code first was issued, lawyers and bishops have complained it was inadequate for dealing with the sexual abuse of minors since it required time-consuming trials.

Victims and their advocates, meanwhile, argued the code left too much discretion in the hands of bishops who had an interest in covering up for their priests.

The Vatican issued piecemeal changes over the years to address problems and loopholes, most significantly requiring all cases to be sent to the Holy See for review and allowing for a more streamlined administrative process to defrock a priest if the evidence against him was overwhelming.

The Vatican has long considered any sexual relations between a priest and an adult as sinful but consensual, believing that adults are able to offer or refuse consent purely by the nature of their age.

But amid the #MeToo movement and scandals of seminarians and nuns being sexually abused by their superiors, the Vatican has come to realise that adults can be victimised if there is a power imbalance in the relationship.

Monsignor Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Vatican's legal office, said the new version would cover any rank-and-file member of the church who is a victim of a priest who abused his authority. 

Pitfalls in the new code

The law does not explicitly define which adults are covered, saying only an adult who "habitually has an imperfect use of reason" or for "whom the law recognises equal protection".

Arrieta said the Vatican chose not to define precisely who is covered but noted that the Vatican previously defined vulnerable adults as those who even occasionally are unable to understand or consent because of a physical or mental deficiency or are deprived of their personal liberty.

The Reverend Davide Cito, a canon lawyer at the Pontifical Holy Cross University, said the broadness of the law "allows it to protect many people" who might not necessarily fall under the strict definition of "vulnerable" but are nevertheless deserving of protection.

In a novelty aimed at addressing sex crimes committed by laypeople who hold church offices, such as the founders of lay religious movements or even parish accountants and administrators, the new law says laypeople can be punished if they abuse their authority to engage in sexual or financial crimes.

Since these laypeople cannot be defrocked, penalties include losing their jobs, paying fines or being removed from their communities.




23 July, 2021

Israeli company is set to become first in the world to launch clinical trials of an ORAL COVID-19 vaccine

Oravax Medical, a subsidiary of Jerusalem-based Oramed Pharmaceuticals, has received a green light to begin the study from the Institutional Review Board at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

The team is now waiting for approval from the Health Ministry, which is expected within a few weeks.

Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron told The Jerusalem Post that an oral vaccine would be faster, cheaper and easier to manufacture than vaccines that are injected.

What's more, it could be easily distributed to low-and middle-income countries. 'An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,' he said. 

'While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the case that a COVID-19 vaccine may be recommended annually like the standard flu shot.' 

The technology is the same that the company is using to develop insulin capsules for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients Nadav Kidron told The Jerusalem Post.  Kidron explained the trials are initially being conducted as a 'proof of concept' rather than testing efficacy. 

Researchers are recruiting 24 unvaccinated volunteers  with half receiving one pill and the other half two pills.

The team will analyze safety and then take participants' blood samples to measure antibody levels.

If results prove successful, the trial will move into Phase III when the capsules will be tested against a placebo.  

'The idea here is that we want to show proof of concept: that it works for people,' Kidron told The Jerusalem Post.

'I pray and hope that we will. Imagine that we could give someone an oral vaccine and they are vaccinated. This would be a revolution for the entire world.' 

The Oravax vaccine targets three proteins on the virus rather then the single spike protein that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines target. 

Kidron says this should help the pill be much more effective against variant, which often have mutations on the spike protein.

'This vaccine should be much more resistant to COVID-19 variants,' he told The Jerusalem Post. 

'Even if the virus gets through one line, there is a second line, and if through the second line, there is a third.' 

The pill can be shipped in refrigeration cooler and even be stored at room temperature, unlike other COVID-19. 

What's more, it would not need to be administered by a health professional, making it easy to distribute in schools, offices  and other businesses.


Brigham Young University Hawaii Contradicts Student’s Doctor, Says She Must Receive Vaccine or Find Another School, Despite Her Serious Medical Condition


An incoming freshman with a neurological disorder has been told she will need to receive a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine to pursue her studies, despite her doctor warning the school of the risks due to her condition.

Olivia Sandor, who suffers from Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), an auto-immune disease that paralyzed her from the waist down, was set to start at the this fall, when an announcement was made June 16 that all students would be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

When the school announced its new policy, BYUH’s assistant to the president said that students with religious or medical reasons can apply for an immunization exemption and that each case and circumstance would be reviewed to see if the student qualified.

Due to her unique and life-threatening circumstances, Olivia provided the university with a medical exemption in which her doctor notified the school of the risks she faced if she were to take the vaccine.

The letter read:

Olivia has been a patient of mine for many years. In January of 2019, she received an influenza vaccine and within a couple of years developed Guillain Barre Syndrome and was very ill for a couple of months.

Because of her history I believe a COVID vaccine or another influenza vaccine will endanger her health and possibly her life. I believe she should avoid those vaccines indefinitely.

After waiting three weeks, Olivia received a letter from the university informing her that her exemption had been denied.

The university’s response read:

After careful consideration of your request for a medical exemption, we reget that we cannot accommodate your request. Due to our unique location, diverse student population, and daily interaction with international tourists at the Polynesian Cultural Center, we must take extra precautions to protect our campus and community.

We recommend that you come when you can be fully vaccinated or consider attendance at one of our other church universities.

With the help of her parents, Olivia appealed again to the university, pleading with them to understand her medical circumstances.

The university responded again to Olivia, denying her request a second time, and providing two references from university doctors who had never treated her, assuring her the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be safe for her to take.

“She should not get the J&J vaccine, but the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be OK,” the email from the university said in contradiction to the advice of the doctor treating Olivia’s condition.

“It states that the mRNA vaccines (i.e. Moderna) haven’t shown any association with triggering GBS. She should be fine to get the Moderna vaccine.”

Olivia told Caldron Pool that attending BYUH had been her dream and that she had turned down a $200,000 scholarship to enrol at the university.

In a post on social media, Olivia detailed her experience, saying, “I’m sharing this today to shed light on how the COVID-19 vaccine is affecting me and my life and to help others not feel so alone… I may not know why this is all happening now, but I have faith that there is a reason.”

Olivia is one of a number of students who have expressed concerns about the mandatory vaccine policy adopted by BYUH.

22 July, 2021

Democratic Party Won’t Admit It’s Become Party of Wealth

How often during the last year of wokeness have middle- and lower-class Americans listened to multimillionaires of all races and genders lecture them on their various pathologies and oppressions?

University presidents with million-dollar salaries virtue signal on the cheap their own sort of “unearned white privilege.”

Meghan Markle and the Obamas, from their plush estates, indict Americans for their biases.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors Brignac decries the oppressive victimization she and others have suffered—from one of her four recently acquired homes.

Do we need another performance-art sermon on America’s innate unfairness from billionaire entertainers such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, or Oprah Winfrey, or from multimillionaire Delta or Coca-Cola CEOs?

During the 1980s cultural war, the left’s mantra was “race, class, and gender.” Occasionally we still hear of that trifecta, but the class part has increasingly disappeared. The neglect of class is ironic given that a number of recent studies conclude class differences are widening as never before.

Middle-class incomes among all races have stagnated, and family net worth has declined. Far greater percentages of rising incomes go to the already rich. Student debt, mostly a phenomenon of the middle and lower classes, has hit $1.7 trillion.

States such California have bifurcated into medieval-style societies. California’s progressive coastal elites boast some of the highest incomes in the nation. But in the more conservative north and central interior, nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line—explaining why 1 of every 3 American welfare recipients lives in California.

California’s heating, cooling, gasoline, and housing costs are the highest in the continental United States. Most of these spiraling costs are attributable to polices embraced by an upper-class elite—in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and marquee universities—whose incomes shield them from the deleterious consequences of their utopian bromides. The poor and middle classes have no such insulation.

So why are we not talking about class?

First, we are watching historic changes in political alignment.

The two parties are switching class constituents. Some 65% of the Americans making more than $500,000 a year are Democrats, and 74% of those who earn less than $100,000 a year are Republicans, according to IRS statistics. Gone are the days of working people automatically voting Democratic, or Republicans being caricatured as a party of stockbrokers on golf courses.

By 2018, Democratic representatives were in control all 20 of the wealthiest congressional districts. In the recent presidential primaries and general election, 17 of the 20 wealthiest ZIP codes gave more money to Democratic candidates than to Republicans.

Increasingly, the Democrats are a bicoastal party of elites from corporate America, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the media, universities, entertainment, and professional sports. All have made out like bandits from globalization.

Democrats have lost much of their support from working-class whites, especially in the interior of the country. But they are also fast forfeiting the Hispanic middle class and beginning to lose solidarity among middle-class African Americans.

The Democratic Party does not wish to admit it has become the party of wealth. All too often its stale revolutionary speechifying sounds more like penance arising from guilt than genuine advocacy for middle-class citizens of all races.

The wealthy leftist elite has mastered the rhetoric of ridicule for the lower-middle classes, especially struggling whites. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden wrote off their political opponents as supposedly crude, superstitious, and racist, smearing them as “clingers,” “deplorables,” “irredeemables,” and “chumps.”

Class is fluid; race is immutable. So by fixating on race, the left believes that it can divide America into permanent victimizers and victims—at a time when race and class are increasingly disconnecting.

The wealthy of all races are the loudest voices of the woke movement. Their frequent assumptions of  “victimhood” are absurd.

Americans who struggle to pay soaring gas, food, energy, and housing prices are berated for their “white privilege” by an array of well-paid academics, media elite, and CEOs.

Note that the woke military is the brand of admirals, generals, and retired top brass on corporate boards, not of the enlisted. It’s multimillionaire CEOs who bark at the nation for their prejudices, not saleswomen or company truck drivers.

America is a plutocracy, not a genocracy. Wealth, not race, is the factor most likely to ensure someone power, influence, and the good life.

In the pre-civil rights past, race was often fused to class, and the two terms were logically used interchangeably to cite oppression and inequality. But such a canard is fossilized. And so are those who desperately cling to it.

The more the elites scream their woke banalities, the more they seem to fear that they, not most Americans, are really the privileged, coddled, and pampered ones—and sometimes the victimizers.

21 July, 2021 

The Effects of Vitamin D and COVID-Related Outcomes

As early as November 2020, it was known that there were striking differences in vitamin D status among people who had asymptomatic COVID-19 and those who became severely ill and required intensive care unit (ICU) care. In one study, 32.96 percent of those with asymptomatic cases were vitamin D deficient, compared to 96.82 percent of those who were admitted to the ICU for a severe case.

COVID-19 patients who were deficient in this inexpensive and widely available vitamin had a higher inflammatory response and a greater fatality rate. The Indian study authors recommended “mass administration of vitamin D supplements to populations at risk for COVID-19,” in a study published in Scientific Reports, but this hasn’t happened, at least not in the United States.

As of April 21, the date the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) last updated its COVID-19 treatment guidelines/vitamin D page, the agency stated, “There are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of vitamin D for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.” As you’ll see in the paragraphs that follow, however, the evidence for its use is strong.

Vitamin D Therapy Reduces COVID’s Inflammatory Storm

Vitamin D has multiple actions on the immune system, including enhancing the production of antimicrobial peptides by immune cells, reducing damaging pro-inflammatory cytokines, and promoting the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a group of proteins that your body uses to control inflammation.

If you have an infection, your body will release cytokines to help combat inflammation, but sometimes, it releases more than it should. If the cytokine release spirals out of control, the resulting “cytokine storm” becomes dangerous and is closely tied to sepsis, which may be an important contributor to the death of COVID-19 patients.

Many COVID-19 therapeutics are focused on viral elimination instead of modulating the hyperinflammation often seen in the disease. In fact, uncontrolled immune response has been suggested as a factor in disease severity, making immunomodulation “an attractive potential treatment strategy,” wrote researchers from Singapore in a study published in Nutrition.

In one study published in Scientific Reports in May, researchers investigated the effects of Pulse D therapy—daily high-dose supplementation (60,000 IUs) of vitamin D—for eight to 10 days, in addition to standard therapy, for COVID-19 patients deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D levels increased significantly in the vitamin D group—from 16 ng/ml to 89 ng/ml—while inflammatory markers significantly decreased, without any side effects.

“Vit.D acts as a smart switch to decrease the Th1 response and pro-inflammatory cytokines while enhancing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in cases of immune dysregulation. It is pertinent to note that SARS-CoV-2 virus activates Th1 response and suppresses Th2 response,” they wrote.

They concluded that Pulse D therapy could be safely added to COVID-19 treatment protocols for improved outcomes.

Vitamin D3 Reduces COVID-19 Deaths, ICU Admissions

Another group of researchers in Spain gave vitamin D3 (calcifediol) to patients admitted to the COVID-19 wards of Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar. About half the patients received vitamin D3 in the amount of 21,280 IU on day one plus 10,640 IU on days 3, 7, 15, and 30. Those that received vitamin D fared significantly better, with only 4.5 percent requiring ICU admission compared to 21 percent in the no-vitamin D group.

Vitamin D treatment also significantly reduced mortality, with 4.7 percent of the vitamin D group dying at admission, compared to 15.9 percent in the non-vitamin D group.

“In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, calcifediol treatment significantly reduced ICU admission and mortality,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. In response to the findings, British MP David Davis tweeted:

“This is a very important study on vitamin D and Covid-19. Its findings are incredibly clear. An 80 percent reduction in need for ICU and a 60 percent reduction in deaths, simply by giving a very cheap and very safe therapy – calcifediol, or activated vitamin D … The findings of this large and well-conducted study should result in this therapy being administered to every COVID patient in every hospital in the temperate latitudes.”

At one point, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service was offering free vitamin D supplements to people at high risk from COVID-19, but they also state, like the U.S. NIH, “there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

While their guidance does urge Britons to take a vitamin D supplement between October and March “to keep your bones and muscles healthy,” it only recommends a dose of 400 IUs a day, which is easily 20 times lower than what most people require for general health and optimal immune function.

Dose matters when it comes to COVID-19 recovery. In a randomized clinical trial in Saudi Arabia, researchers compared daily supplementation with either 5,000 IUs or 1,000 IUs oral vitamin D3 among patients with suboptimal vitamin D levels hospitalized for mild to moderate COVID-19. Those in the 5,000 IUs group had a significantly shorter time to recovery for cough and loss of the sense of taste compared to the 1,000 IUs group.

According to the researchers, “The use of 5000 IU vitamin D3 as an adjuvant therapy for COVID-19 patients with suboptimal vitamin D status, even for a short duration, is recommended.”

Hospitalized With COVID-19? Ask for Vitamin D

The evidence continues to grow that treatment with vitamin D leads to significantly better outcomes for people hospitalized with COVID-19. In another example from Spain, hospitalized COVID-19 patients who received vitamin D3 had a mortality rate of 5 percent, compared to 20 percent for those who did not. The researchers explained:

“The protective effect of calcifediol [activated vitamin D] remained significant after adjustment for multiple confounder factors related to severity disease even after selecting those subjects who were older (?65 years) and had worse oxygen saturation levels at admission (<96 percent).”

Similarly, 76 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Reina Sofia University Hospital in Córdoba, Spain, were randomized to receive either standard care or standard care plus vitamin D3 to rapidly increase vitamin D levels.

Of 50 treated with vitamin D, only one person was admitted to the ICU. Of 26 who were not treated with vitamin D, 13 (50 percent) required admission to the hospital. Researchers noted, “Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce the severity of the disease.”

Further: “Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications. The 13 patients not treated with calcifediol, who were not admitted to the ICU, were discharged. Of the 13 patients admitted to the ICU, two died and the remaining 11 were discharged.”

In a previous review, the researchers explained that vitamin D has favorable effects during both the early viraemic phase of COVID-19 as well as the later hyperinflammatory phase, including for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a lung condition that’s common in severe COVID-19 cases, which causes low blood oxygen and fluid buildup in the lungs.

“Based on many preclinical studies and observational data in humans, ARDS may be aggravated by vitamin D deficiency and tapered down by activation of the vitamin D receptor,” they wrote in a study published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  “Based on a pilot study, oral calcifediol may be the most promising approach.”

Even regular “booster” doses of vitamin D, regardless of baseline levels, appear to be effective in reducing the risk of mortality in people admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, particularly for the elderly.

“This inexpensive and widely available treatment could have positive implications for the management of COVID-19 worldwide, particularly in developing nations,” researchers from the United Kingdom noted.

Low Vitamin D Levels May Increase Death Risk

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation included 13 studies involving 2,933 COVID-19 patients. Vitamin D was a clear winner, with use in COVID-19 patients significantly associated with reduced ICU admission and mortality, along with a reduced risk of adverse outcomes, particularly when given after COVID-19 diagnosis.

When it comes to data to support the use of vitamin D for COVID-19, 87 studies have been performed by 784 scientists. The results show:

53 percent improvement in 28 treatment trials
56 percent improvement in 59 sufficiency studies
63 percent improvement in 16 treatment mortality results

A number of clinical trials are also underway, looking further into the use of vitamin D for COVID-19, including one by Harvard Medical School researchers investigating whether taking daily vitamin D reduces COVID-19 disease severity in those newly diagnosed as well as reducing the risk of infection in household contacts.

‘A Simple and Inexpensive Measure’

Some positive advances have already occurred that could make this potentially lifesaving strategy more widely used. The French National Academy of Medicine issued a statement in May 2020, referring to the use of vitamin D as a “simple and inexpensive measure that is reimbursed by the French National Health Insurance” and detailing the importance of vitamin D for COVID-19.

For COVID-19 patients over 60, they recommend vitamin D testing and if deficiency is found, a bolus dose of 50,000 to 100,000 IU. For anyone under the age of 60 who receives a positive COVID-19 test, they advise taking 800 IUs to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D per day. A vitamin D review paper published in the journal Nutrients in April 2020 recommends higher amounts, however, stating:

“To reduce the risk of infection, it is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d.

“The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L). For treatment of people who become infected with COVID-19, higher vitamin D3 doses might be useful.”

The best way to know how much vitamin D you need is to have your levels tested. Data from GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action studies suggest the optimal level for health and disease prevention is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL, while the cutoff for sufficiency appears to be around 40 ng/mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 to 200 nmol/L and 100 nmol/L, respectively.


Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Significantly Less’ Effective Against Delta Variant: Israeli PM

Israel’s top officials are warning that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is “significantly less” effective at combating the “Delta” variant of the CCP virus.

“We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters and cabinet members on July 17. He didn’t elaborate.

The Delta strain, which was first identified in India, now makes up a significant portion of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to health officials.

Bennett said that in “Britain, in recent days, we have seen a jump in the number of children who are being hospitalized on a daily basis.”

“This is a development that we are aware of; we are dealing with it rationally and responsibly,” he said.

For months, Israel has relied heavily on administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which uses mRNA technology. Officials have said that more than 5.7 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Pfizer officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment about Bennett’s claims.

The Delta variant, meanwhile, has prompted concerns that governments around the world may reimpose strict lockdowns or face-mask requirements in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. For months, officials in the United States and elsewhere promised that mass vaccination campaigns would bring an end to the months-long lockdowns and other COVID-19-related requirements. Now with the rise of Delta infections among vaccinated individuals, it’s unclear what the next steps will be.

COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Lockdowns have been flagged as being ineffective in several recent studies. One conducted by the University of Southern California and the RAND Corp. found that shelter-in-place (SIP) orders didn’t actually save lives.

“We use an event study framework to quantify changes in the number of excess deaths after the implementation of a SIP policy. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases,” the researchers wrote in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In the UK, researchers with several top universities said that about five times as many children died from suicide or related trauma than from COVID-19. They specifically concluded that lockdowns are far more detrimental to children’s health than the virus itself.

According to anonymously sourced reports, Israel is considering a new lockdown due to the variant.

During his remarks on July 17, Bennett said that “our goal is to allow routine life to continue with adjustments to the coronavirus,” although it’s not clear whether that includes lockdowns.

“We all hope to see a slowdown, but the facts at the moment are that there isn’t a slowdown—not here and not around the world,” he said.




Sunday, July 18, 2021

Mask Mandate for Children Is Not Backed by Science: New Jersey Senators

New Jersey senators held a hearing last week to explore whether the science supports forcing children to wear face masks in schools amid growing concerns regarding the efficacy and negative effects of these masks.

Scientists testified about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Health professionals and parents talked about the impact of masks on children’s health and well-being.

The participating lawmakers asserted that wearing masks by children does little to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and may harm children psychologically, emotionally, developmentally, and physically.

The requirement to wear masks in almost all public places in New Jersey was lifted by Governor Phil Murphy in May, but the mandate to wear masks for children in schools remained in place, justified by the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12.

Mask Effectiveness for Children

There have not been any randomized clinical trials on children to assess the benefits of wearing masks, but different countries responded differently to the pandemic, said Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a biostatistician and epidemiologist.

“During the first wave [of the COVID-19 pandemic] in the spring of 2020, most large Western countries closed their schools for longer or shorter time periods, including more states in the U.S. The one exception was Sweden, which kept schools and daycare open from ages 1 to 15, for which there are 1.8 million children.”

At that time, there was no mask-wearing, no social distancing, and no COVID-19 testing for children in Sweden, Kulldorf said at the hearing, but there was more cleaning than normal in schools and daycare facilities and children who got sick were sent home.

Despite this lack of restrictions, “none of these 1.8 million children died [of COVID-19],” Kulldorf emphasized.

“COVID is primarily spread through adults. When children do get infected … they typically get it from an adult. And it’s very unusual to get transmission from children to adults.”

The risk of COVID-19 infection for teachers is the same or slightly lower than the average in other professions, Kulldorf said. “There’s no purpose of wearing masks, either for the benefit of the children or for the benefit of teachers. There’s no public health reasons to do that.”

“I think in the United States, for this whole pandemic, there have been about 350 reported COVID deaths among children. And we don’t know exactly how many of those are due to COVID versus how many are with COVID because [the] CDC hasn’t done that evaluation.”

Kulldorf said that the number of child deaths due to influenza is between 200 and 1,000 every year depending on the severity of influenza.

“Every one of these deaths is tragic,” Kulldorf said, but “for children, [mask] doesn’t particularly give them any protection from COVID.”

 Adverse Effects of Masks

“There was ample evidence for adverse effects of children wearing masks and they should not be forced to wear them,” said Maria Crisler, a clinical scientist with specialty experience in microbiology.

According to a study conducted in April, 68 percent of more than 25,000 children participating in the study “had problems wearing face coverings” and the content of carbon dioxide inhaled by them was several times higher than the acceptable norm, Crisler testified.

Due to the high intake of carbon dioxide, children sampled for the study experienced symptoms such as irritability, headache, difficulty concentrating, reluctance to go to school or kindergarten, malaise, impaired learning, drowsiness, or fatigue, Crisler said.

The issue of mask-wearing is even more critical for children than for adults because anatomical differences make a child more vulnerable than an adult to injury from oxygen deprivation and high intake of carbon dioxide, the clinical scientist explained.

“There are physiological changes within 45 seconds of wearing a mask to the brain, from the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, and the immune system.”

Moreover, microbes can concentrate on the outside of masks because microbe carrying droplets are trapped in masks and can be re-inhaled, Crisler said in her presentation. “Without a mask exhaled droplets and aerosol dry quickly. … The longer the mask is used, the more bacteria are exhaled through it.”

“The outside of surgical mask—the ones that the children are mostly wearing to school—tested in hospitals, found more concentrated microbes on the outside of the masks themselves than in the environment.”

A study performed by a lab of the University of Florida showed that several types of microbes were present on masks, Crisler noted, emphasizing that the study was non-scientific.

Crisler also mentioned that natural solutions to protect children “begin with diet and exercise,” as poor diets and lack of rest are among factors contributing to disease and immune dysfunction.

Dr. Paul Alexander, a professor of evidence-based medicine at McMaster University in Canada and a former COVID pandemic advisor at the Trump Administration, pointed out that there is no clear evidence that masks are effective but there are reports and evidence that wearing masks is potentially harmful.

“You’re accumulating carbon dioxide behind the mask, you’re not getting proper oxygen, etc. And you have reports across the world of damage,” Alexander said adding, the “WHO [World Health Organization] put out a report … stating children under six years old, should not be masked, under no condition.”

Alexander also said that cases of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-10 which drove the lockdowns and school closures as well as reinfections are very rare.

“When we look at the evidence, we can’t find clear indications, actual evidence, cases, where asymptomatic spread is a real concern or reinfections, recurrent infections is a real concern. And we can argue each case that you present as flawed interpretation.”

Jacqueline Tobacco, a member of the Board of Education in Middletown, New Jersey, testified that her son attended a school without wearing a mask since September after a long fight and a lawsuit that she had filed.

“He has successfully attended school all year—schools have been open in Middletown—and never was quarantined, never got COVID,” Tobacco sad.

She won the race for a seat on the Board of Education after campaigning on a platform against the lockdowns and against the mask mandates and became a board member in January.

Erin Pain, a school nurse, testified that wearing masks can harm children psychologically, developmentally, and physically.

She saw many children experiencing anxiety and severe fear. Pain told senators the story of a girl who came to see her because she vomited in class. That girl got really nervous when she saw people wearing masks and the thought occupied the child’s mind to the point that she felt sick in her stomach and threw up.

Another girl who Pain saw was hysterically crying because she forgot to bring her mask to school and was afraid that she would bring COVID home. “I had to spend 15 minutes with her to calm her down just to get her to go into class,” Pain said.

A child’s development may also be impacted by wearing a mask, Pain explained. “Children learn by recognizing facial cues … and [their learning] is hindered by wearing a face mask.”

When their teacher smiles at them, children know that they got the right answer or did a good job, Pain continued.

“Developmentally, these kids are suffering. They’re having a really hard time, especially the hearing impaired and the special needs children who are having a severely difficult time wearing these masks,” she said.

The nurse also saw face rashes, sore throat, canker sores related to wearing masks. Children sometimes wear the same mask for several days, touch them, and sometimes forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom, or flip them inside out, Pain said.

The CDC recommends washing cloth mask whenever it gets dirty or at least daily.

New Jersey state Sen. Michael Doherty, a Republican, said after all testimonies were given, “We heard today that masks cause harm and there’s no benefit. And there’s a lot of science to back that up. It’s causing irreparable harm to our children. And the science is very clear to me.”

“It was really important to hear the science,” said Republican New Jersey Sen. Kristin Corrado.

“We have legislation [introduced] … that would prohibit any school or school bus from mandating that children wear masks in school or on the bus. We also have legislation that would prohibit masking mandated at daycares and summer camps. Parents should be the only ones making medical decisions for their children. And let’s be clear, wearing a mask is a medical decision, that should never be made by” the government of New Jersey, Corrado said at the conclusion of the hearing.

The Democrats Tried To Trick Them, But TEXAS Did It Anyway!

The quorum needed to approve bills in Governor Greg Abbott’s special session agenda by the Republican-led House was denied by the Democrats.

According to the reports, 51 Texas Democrat House members and eight Texas Democrat Senate members fled the state to subvert democracy.  Meanwhile, The Texas Senate passed a voter integrity bill.

According to the National Review report:

“Senators voted 18-4 along party lines to approve the legislation. Eight Senate Democrats announced that they too had fled to Washington, D.C., on Monday, with a ninth expected to arrive Monday evening,” National Review reported. “However, with 22 out of 31 members present, the Senate kept a quorum and was able to pass the measure.”

“Horrible” and “misleading” and was creating a “false national debate coming out of Washington,” that’s how Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)  described Democrats’ criticism of the voter integrity laws.

The National Review report continues:

The bill itself aims to mandate that voters write their driver’s license or other identification number on absentee ballots, bans state officials from sending out unsolicited mail-in ballots, and bans 24-hour and drive-in voting.

Initially, the bill limited early voting on Sundays before elections to begin at 1 p.m., a provision Democrats claimed was intended to curtail “souls to the polls” voting drives for black churchgoers. However, the provision was struck from the legislation last month.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott told Fox News on Monday that the Democrat lawmakers who fled the state would be arrested the moment that they step back into Texas.

“Isn’t that the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard? Texans running from a fight? They’re quitters,” Abbott told Fox News. “It’s like during a football game or baseball game, taking their equipment when they’re way behind and just leaving the field. That is not the way that Texas, Texans do things.”

“We have special sessions that last 30 days, and the governor calls them and I will continue calling special session after special session, because over time it’s going to continue until they step up to vote,” Abbott continued. “The thesis that they are operating under is completely false, because what the Texas law does, doesn’t hinder anybody’s ability to vote. And in fact, interestingly, what Texas is seeking to do is to add additional hours to vote. Texas has 12 days of early voting and the hours of which will be expanded. And we will ensure that hours are expanded on Election Day also. So their entire thesis is completely wrong. And compare early voting in Texas with early voting that we have in Delaware. Texas has 12 days of early voting. Delaware has zero days of early voting. Why am I picking on Delaware? Because that is where the President himself voted in the last election. And if anybody wants to talk about voter suppression, they should be talking about Delaware, not Texas.”

Abbott noted that the lawmakers were effectively “using a filibuster to flee the state of Texas to plead with the president to do away with the filibuster in Washington, D.C.,” which he noted was “hypocrisy on its face.”

“What the law is, it’s in the Constitution, and that is the house, the State House of Representatives who were here in the Capitol in Austin right now, they do have the ability to issue a call to have their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested, but only so long as that arrest is made in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “That’s why they have fled the state. Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol, and we will be conducting business.”

17 July, 2021 

The Ruling Class Poses the Very Authoritarian Dangers It Claimed Trump Did

President Donald Trump’s greatest sin was threatening the power and privilege of the Ruling Class.

For that, it will never stop seeking to bludgeon him, those seeking to carry his mantle, or their tens of millions of supporters—those icky, intransigent, irredeemables, judged as such because they refuse to submit.

In so doing, it has shown that it presents the very authoritarian threat it claimed he did.

The Ruling Class raved that Trump was a tyrant, madman, and traitor in part because it believed it needed to delegitimize him to neutralize a threat to the racket it has had going at the expense of the American people for too long, but also in part because he really broke them.

One need not play armchair psychiatrist to see both elements at play in the latest revelation, in an endless stream of them, of the opinion of Trump held by one of his senior-most military officials.

That the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—a man who proved the point that Wokeness has infected our national security apparatus when he recently divulged that he considered understanding “white rage” to be part of his job description—harbored fever dreams of Trump as Hitler, says far more about him, and his ilk, than it does about Trump.

Needless to say, such comments are neither made in good faith—coming from someone who had publicly opposed the president previously—nor do they seem to be rooted in any sort of rigorous, fact-based argument.

But let’s for a moment entertain them. For starters, were Trump everything his political adversaries accused him of being, he would have sought to exploit the coronavirus tragedy to usurp maximum power, ruling by fiat, controlling speech under the guise of health and public safety, seeking to manipulate 2020 election laws to maximize his odds of victory, and so on.

Instead, even as pressure mounted to act unilaterally in response to the coronavirus, Trump largely respected federalism—redounding to the benefit of the millions who lived in the few states that remained relatively free during the pendency of the crisis—and dramatically reduced regulations to enable a vaccine to get to market in record time.

It was his political adversaries in the public health bureaucracy, in Congress, across state and local governments, and in the hysteria-fomenting, hyper-politicized media, who acted like the authoritarians they accused Trump of being—all while conspiring to take him down.

This is to say nothing of course of the myriad ways Trump reduced centralized power during his Oval Office tenure, from the bevy of initiatives he undertook in defense of American life and liberty, to his related tax and de-regulatory policies, judicial appointments, and beyond.

Trump, who on many issues arguably acted in a restrained manner, and ranks among the most checked, sabotaged, and stymied presidents in American history, yet who was still able to implement such a conservative agenda, was anything but the dangerous autocrat his adversaries slandered him as.

The Woke, unhinged insubordinates, who evidently sat atop the ranks of every aspect of the federal bureaucracy, including in the armed forces, posed an infinitely greater threat to our values, principles, and institutions by flouting the consent of the governed.

Stated differently, the Ruling Class, led by a determined cadre of vitriolic and vindictive zealots in the national security, intelligence, and law enforcement apparatuses who weaponized their powers against domestic political foes and violated their fundamental rights, presented a far graver danger to America than the commander in chief they undermined.

And that danger was made most acute by the rank insubordination in the very areas of government that it cannot be tolerated: those devoted to defending American life and limb.

For this cadre, Trump’s greatest crimes were a willingness to end blood-and-treasure-sapping military boondoggles; to ask basic, commonsense questions about whether the status quo was really in America’s national interest—to look upon the conventional wisdom with skepticism; to dispense with diplomatic niceties and dubious deals driven by illusions of Utopic progressive globalism and greed, and to grapple with foreign powers as they were, not as we wished them to be.

This was simply intolerable because it would have put much of the Ruling Class out of business.

The danger presented by those who resisted Trump continues today as the executive branch mobilizes, in coordination with major corporations, to pursue the up to half the country that Trump represented in a “Woke War on Wrongthink” that could well eviscerate liberty and justice.

In working to smear, target, and criminalize up to millions of intransigent Deplorables, treating such political dissenters as dangers to society, our Ruling Class is emulating the bogeyman it warned of who never materialized over the last four years.

Is there any silver lining?

In recent weeks, with the FBI tweeting that Americans ought to report on their friends and family if they suspect signs of (ill-defined) extremist radicalization, reports that “Biden allied groups” are seeking to “work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages”—on top of the Biden administration’s door-to-door vaccination effort—and with President Biden delivering a speech in which he called defenders of election integrity subversionists, claiming they were assaulting democracy, and comparing them to Confederates, it is hard to remain optimistic.

Yet the demagoguery, the manufactured hysteria of the Ruling Class, and the tyrannical lengths to which it believes it must go to impose its will—using civil rights-imperiling force and coercion rather than persuasion—would seem to betray weakness, or at least an admission that too many Americans are not buying what it’s selling.

When everything is insurrection, subversion, and racism, nothing is insurrection, subversion, and racism.

When everything that does not comport with the Official Regime narrative is cast as misinformation, nothing is misinformation.

The Ruling Class doth protest too much.

But unfortunately for our country, in its desperation to perpetuate and grow its power, freedom-loving Americans will bear the brunt as it lashes out in uniquely disturbing and dangerous ways.


Federal Judge Declares Obama-Era DACA Program Illegal

A Texas federal judge on Friday ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era policy that shields certain illegal immigrants from being deported, is unlawful and blocked new applications from being filed.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen argued that the policy goes against the Constitution because Congress never provided the executive branch authorization to grant deportation reprieves to illegal immigrants in the United States. DACA, which was established in 2012 by President Barack Obama’s administration, has granted an estimated 800,000 individuals protection.

After arguing that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act, Hanen ruled that DHS now needs to stop approving new DACA applications. The order doesn’t affect the status of current DACA recipients, the judge wrote.

“Congress has not granted the Executive Branch free rein to grant lawful presence outside the ambit of the statutory scheme,” wrote Hanen (pdf), who was appointed by former President George W. Bush. “It is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such significant reliance to terminate suddenly,” he also wrote in ordering that the status of people currently in DACA doesn’t change and they can continue to seek renewal of their status.

“This consideration, along with the Government’s assertion that it is ready and willing to try to remedy the legal defects of the DACA program, indicates that equity will not be served by a complete and immediate cessation of DACA,” the judge wrote.

Illegal aliens in the United States who were 30 years or younger received protection from the program. In order to receive DACA protection, they must have arrived in the country by 2007 before they turned 16, and they also had to be a student or a graduate with no serious criminal record, among other requirements.

The Obama administration and Democrats often referred to the young illegal immigrants as “Dreamers” after the Dream Act, which would have granted them an easier path to becoming American citizens, failed to pass in Congress about a decade ago.

Later, the Trump administration attempted to rescind DACA in 2017, which drew significant criticism from Democrats and triggered a mainstream media-driven pressure campaign that painted the administration as heartless. President Donald Trump wrote at the time that DACA “gives the President of the United States far more power than EVER anticipated.” Before that, he described it as an illegal amnesty program that only serves to boost Democrats’ chances of winning elections.

The Supreme Court ultimately blocked Trump’s attempt to do away with the program in 2020, which led to the Trump administration’s attempts to block new applications under DACA. Another judge rejected the administration’s bid and ordered DACA’s restoration.

Hanen ruled on a lawsuit that was brought by Texas, which was joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The states argued that the program is tantamount to federal overreach.

The ruling is sure to put more pressure on Congress and the Biden administration to try and pass a permanent law. This comes as nearly 190,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border in June. If such a bill is proposed, amid the significant surge of illegal immigrants, Republicans likely won’t support it.

DACA supporters are expected to appeal Hanen’s decision

16 July, 2021 

Stunning backflip as WHO chief admits it IS too soon to rule out Covid-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab - and demands China be held to account

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there had been a 'premature push' to rule out a potential link between the coronavirus pandemic and a lab leak.

The body's director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged it was premature to rule of the theory that the virus might have escaped from a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan.

He also said WHO was now urging China to be more transparent as scientists continue to search for the origins of the coronavirus.

Dr Ghebreyesus's comments come just weeks after he suggested that Beijing had not cooperated fully with investigations and called on China to help solve the origin of the virus out of 'respect' for the dead.

In a rare departure from his usual deference, the WHO director-general said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that travelled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of Covid-19.   

Dr Tedros said that the UN health agency based in Geneva was 'asking China to be transparent, open and co-operate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic'. 

'I was a lab technician myself, I'm an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,' Dr Tedros said. 'It's common.'       

In recent months, the idea that the pandemic started somehow in a laboratory - and perhaps involved an engineered virus - has gained traction, especially with US President Joe Biden ordering a review of American intelligence to assess the possibility in May.

China has struck back aggressively, arguing that attempts to link the origins of Covid-19 to a lab were politically motivated and suggesting that the virus might have started abroad.

At WHO's annual meeting of health ministers in the spring, China said that the future search for Covid-19's origins should continue - in other countries.

Most scientists suspect that the coronavirus originated in bats, but the exact route by which it first jumped into people - via an intermediary animal or in some other way - has not yet been determined.

It typically takes decades to narrow down the natural source of an animal virus like Ebola or Sars.

Dr Tedros said that 'checking what happened, especially in our labs, is important' to nailing down if the pandemic had any laboratory links.

'We need information, direct information on what the situation of this lab was before and at the start of the pandemic,' the WHO chief said, adding that China's co-operation was critical.

'If we get full information, we can exclude (the lab connection).' 

Last month, President Biden ordered agencies to 'redouble their efforts to collect and analyse information' and report back in 90 days.

According to Mr Biden, the intelligence services are currently split over the two possible sources for the virus that swept the planet over the past year, killing millions of people.

Mr Biden said that in March he asked for a report on the origins of the virus, including 'whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.'

It came amid claims that three researchers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalised with Covid-19-like symptoms in November, a month before China said it discovered the first cases of the virus.

13 July, 2021 

LinkedIn Deletes Account of mRNA Vaccine Pioneer Who Questioned Risks of COVID-19 Shots

Dr. Robert Malone, who identifies himself as the inventor of mRNA vaccines, said that LinkedIn recently deleted his account after he made comments about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and questioned whether they’re appropriate to give to certain groups of people.

“My business pays for linked in premium. I have been deleted,” Malone wrote on Twitter this week. “Purchased a service from linked in to promote my company. This is very different from the YouTube or Twitter terms. This arbitrary and capricious action has damaged our business, and we deserve to be compensated.”

It appears his personal account was removed earlier this week without warning or explanation from LinkedIn, a subsidiary of Microsoft, said his wife, Jill Malone.

“He was given no notice, no warnings,” she told Just the News. “He has a 10-15 year old account—has never even had a warning. 6,000 followers.”

Malone explained on Wednesday that the “historic record of what I have done, stated, figured out (and when) etc. over time is a key part of establishing my credibility and track record as a professional.” But despite this, the account “has been erased completely and arbitrarily without warning or explanation,” he added.

In a subsequent tweet, Malone produced an email from a LinkedIn representative, who said that his account violated the firm’s user agreement because he posted “misleading or inaccurate information” about vaccines and COVID-19.

“[LinkedIn] has provided a list of my thoughtcrimes. An amazing document,” Malone wrote.

Recently, Malone’s claims to Fox News and other news outlets about giving vaccines to individuals under the age of 18 were flagged by several so-called “fact-checking” sites. Malone told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” in late June that heart inflammation reports shift the risk-benefit ratio for children.

“Vaccines save lives. These vaccines have saved lives,” Malone said, adding that believes the risks associated with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna outweigh the benefits among children.

Speaking to Fox News, Malone said, “I can say that the risk-benefit ratio for those 18 and below doesn’t justify vaccines, and there’s a pretty good chance that it doesn’t justify vaccination in these very young adults.”

LinkedIn’s move to ban Malone is the latest attempt by a Big Tech firm to curb what they describe as “misinformation” regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Recently, Twitter locked Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff’s account after he expressed a skeptical viewpoint on whether masks actually provide protection.


San Francisco Target, Walgreens Stores Forced to Close Early Due to Rampant Theft

Target and Walgreens recently stepped up security efforts in several California cities in the midst of a wave of theft and crime, and, according to the companies, they will be closing earlier.

A spokesperson for Target confirmed that stores in San Francisco are now closing early and are moving hours from 7 or 8 a.m.–10 p.m. to 9 a.m.–6 p.m. A financial district store will close as early as 5 p.m. on Saturday, according to the company’s website.

The reason why, according to a spokesperson for the corporation, is because of an increase in shoplifting.

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area,” the spokesperson told KPIX-TV over the weekend. “Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns.”

The spokesperson then said that “with the safety of our guests, team members and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

Other than San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento have also been hit hard by organized retail crime in recent months, says the California Retailer’s Association. Due to the increase in thefts, a number of stores have been forced to close early or are permanently shutting down.

Walgreens, has already closed several San Francisco stores or reduced hours due to thefts. Managers in some locations have told security guards not to physically engage with individuals who are shoplifting.

“I don’t have any intention of getting stabbed for $60 worth of stuff,” security guard Kevin Greathouse told KGO-TV. “It’s going to be lawsuits, obviously they don’t want ourselves or anybody else to get injured while we’re out here attempting to make these apprehensions and leave it to law enforcement.”

Target’s decision to reduce hours doesn’t come as a surprise, said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association, “because we’ve seen other retailers close in San Francisco.”

“I’m actually proud of the fact that they are trying to hold on and keep the stores open,” she added. “There comes a point—with what we have shared with the elected leaders of the city—where these types of decisions have to be made,” said Michelin. “The bottom line is when these employees don’t feel safe coming to work. That’s when they have to take these drastic measures.”

San Francisco is No. 5 in the nation for retail theft, while Los Angeles is No. 1, according to the Retailers Association.

Some police groups have blamed local district attorneys for enabling criminal behavior because of lax bail reform laws.

San Francisco Police Officers Association head Tony Montoya last month criticized District Attorney Chesa Boudin for enabling “criminals-first” policies. Others, including Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, have faced similar pushback.

“Chesa Boudin has made it clear that you’re more likely to get a stern talking-to than a cell when it comes to most crimes committed in our city and the criminals know it, are taking advantage of it, and we’re all suffering because of it,” Montoya said in a statement.


Wikipedia Co-founder Warns: ‘Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever’

Larry Sanger, a co-founder of Wikipedia, warned that the online encyclopedia is “more one-sided than ever” in light of the website’s entries for Black Lives Matter, the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments, and other contentious topics.

Sanger, in particular, took issue with how some Wikipedia entries are sourced.

“In short, and with few exceptions, only globalist, progressive mainstream sources—and sources friendly to globalist progressivism—are permitted,” he wrote in an article on his website.

Several centrist news outlets such as The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard are sometimes allowed to be sourced, he said, but Wikipedia editors are “careful never to leave the current Overton Window of progressive thought.”

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which take more top-down approaches to content moderation, Wikipedia, which turned 20 years old earlier this year, largely relies on unpaid volunteers to handle issues around users’ behavior, editing entries, and other aspects of the site’s management.

Wikipedia has 230,000 volunteer editors who work on crowdsourced articles and more than 3,500 “administrators” who can take actions such as blocking accounts or restricting edits on certain pages, according to a Reuters article.

Sanger suggested that Wikipedia’s editors have “systematically purged conservative mainstream media sources” because its editors “do not want what they dismiss as ‘misinformation,’ ‘conspiracy theories,’ etc., to get any hearing. In saying so, they (and similarly biased institutions) are plainly claiming exclusive control over what is thinkable. They want to set the boundaries of the debate, and they want to tell you how to think about it.”

Sanger noted that Wikipedia has banned Fox News’ political reporting, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail from being used as sources.

According to a Wikipedia page on the sources that can be used, other conservative websites such as Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Wire, The Gateway Pundit, and Newsmax are also banned.

“Many mainstream sources of conservative, libertarian, or contrarian opinion are banned from Wikipedia as well, including Quillette, The Federalist, and the Daily Caller,” he added. “Those might be contrarian or conservative, but they are hardly ‘radical’; they are still mainstream. So, how on earth can such viewpoints ever be given an airing on Wikipedia? Answer: often, they cannot, not if there are no ‘reliable sources’ available to report about them.”

“It is not too far to say that Wikipedia, like many other deeply biased institutions of our brave new digital world, has made itself into a kind of thought police that has de facto shackled conservative viewpoints with which they disagree,” Sanger wrote in a conclusion on his website. “Democracy cannot thrive under such conditions: I maintain that Wikipedia has become an opponent of vigorous democracy.”

But democracy, he argued, “requires that voters be given the full range of views on controversial issues, so that they can make up their minds for themselves.”

“If society’s main information sources march in ideological lockstep, they make a mockery of democracy. Then the wealthy and powerful need only gain control of the few approved organs of acceptable thought; then they will be able to manipulate and ultimately control all important political dialogue,” Sanger said.




12 July, 2021 

People Who Recover From COVID-19 at ‘Very Low Risk’ of Reinfection: Study

People who have contracted COVID-19 and recovered should know that the risk for reinfection is very low, a doctor said after the publication of a study he worked on.

Researchers analyzed records from Curative, a clinical laboratory based in San Dimas, California, that specializes in COVID-19 testing and has been conducting routine workforce screening during the pandemic. None of the 254 employees who had COVID-19 and recovered became reinfected, while four of the 739 who were fully vaccinated contracted the disease.

“The big takeaway was that if you are not vaccinated, and were not previously infected, one, you have a very high risk of getting infected—24 percent of employees over a year tested positive. However, on the flip side, if you were vaccinated or previously infected, your risk was near zero,” Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, clinical professor of preventive medicine and medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, told The Epoch Times.

Klausner and Dr. Noah Kojima of the University of California–Los Angeles’s Department of Medicine joined with Curative workers to analyze the records. They released a pre-print, or pre-peer-reviewed version of the study online last week.

Researchers found that of the 4,313 employees who weren’t previously infected or fully vaccinated, 254 became infected.

The findings add to the growing body of research that indicates that people who had COVID-19 and recovered enjoy a similar level of protection as those who have gotten a vaccine, following a study in the United Kingdom and one by Cleveland Clinic researchers.

“It should give confidence to people who have recovered that they are at very low risk for repeat infection, and some experts including myself believe that protection is equal to vaccination,” Klausner told The Epoch Times. “And we’re trying to update policy such that people who have recovered have the same privileges and access as people who are vaccinated.”

According to federal guidance, vaccines should be administered to people irrespective of whether they’ve had COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said officials are aware of evidence suggesting natural immunity among those who have been infected, but it hasn’t altered its recommendations to incorporate that evidence.

“We do not comment on non-CDC authored papers. We continually evaluate the science that leads to our guidance, and if it needs to be changed, we will base that on our own research and studies,” a spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email last month.

The limitations of the new study, which has been submitted to a journal and is being peer-reviewed, include the possibility that employees could have tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the routine screening, or employee testing program.

The group plans to conduct more analysis on the Curative data.

Dr. David Boulware, professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, told The Epoch Times via email that the study “adds to the body of literature that generally healthy adults <65 years old with prior COVID-19 infection are generally not at risk of recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection in short term after initial symptomatic infection.”

Boulware, who wasn’t involved in the research, noted that the median age of those tested was 29 years old and very likely included few people 65 years old or older, or many people without immune system problems.

“Thus, this may not apply to elderly persons or persons with substantial co-morbidities—but does likely apply to adults 18–65 years of age without major medical problems,” he said, adding that because the follow-up time period of those studied was relatively short, the paper doesn’t give insight into longer-term protection.

“Long term protection is more unknown, which is why persons with prior infection still are recommended to receive at least 1 vaccine dose, but there is not any urgency to receive the vaccine (and waiting ~3 months likely would be fine),” he said.

Klausner said that besides bolstering the idea of natural immunity, the study shows that vaccination in the workplace is important.

“We need to continue to promote workplace vaccination requirements. Businesses have the authority and have the ability and have the legal power to require employees to get vaccinated,” he said. “And I think our study supports that benefit.”


Leftist racism takes a hit

The Biden administration’s plan to distribute post-pandemic farm loan relief to non-white farmers was hit with another legal defeat on Thursday.

District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson of the Western District of Tennessee issued a preliminary injunction to halt the U.S. Department of Agriculture from moving forward with the loan payment plan that excluded white farmers and ranchers.

“The Court finds that Plaintiff has shown a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on his claim that Section 1005 violates his right to equal protection under the law,” the decision states. “Absent action by the Court, socially disadvantaged farmers will obtain debt relief, while Plaintiff will suffer the irreparable harm of being excluded from that program solely on the basis of his race.”

On behalf of Tennessee farmer Rob Holman and Wyoming rancher Leisl Carpenter, the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation challenged the program’s constitutionality on equal protection grounds.

In a recent op-ed explaining why she sued, Carpenter said as a sixth-generation rancher, "Biden’s law is seemingly designed to racially humiliate Americans like me.

"To qualify under the bill, an applicant or his farm needn’t have experienced racial discrimination," she continued. "There is not even a requirement that the applicant have suffered any direct economic loss due to the lockdowns. Skin color is the most important consideration."

After this latest defeat, the Biden administration may finally take a hint. 

So far the White farmers and ranchers challenging the program are batting 1.000 against the Biden administration.

On July 1, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the USDA from implementing the program, a week after U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Morales Howard in the Middle District of Florida did the same.

Those orders were more sweeping than the temporary restraining order delivered June 10 by a federal judge in Wisconsin on behalf of 12 White farmers. (The Washington Times)

“What’s it going to take for the Biden-Harris Administration to comply with the Constitution?” said MSLF General Counsel William E. Trachman in a statement. “Now that their discriminatory farming and ranch debt relief has been enjoined by another court as a violation of the equal protection clause, the writing is on the wall.? It’s time to treat all of us like Americans, regardless of our skin color.? The pandemic didn’t discriminate when it hurt farmers and ranchers last year, and the government shouldn’t discriminate now.?Racial segregation was wrong before, it’s wrong now, and will be wrong forever.”


Sean Penn And Conan O’Brien Blast ‘Soviet’ Cancel Culture

Superstar actor and notorious liberal Sean Penn and Late Night comedian Conan O-Brien have now both decided they have had enough with the radical left.

As The Daily Wire reports:

It seems even Hollywood’s most notorious left-wing activists are waking up to the dangers of cancel culture.

In the July 5 episode of the podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” the recently retired host of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” asked veteran actor Sean Penn about the trend of destroying careers for past political incorrectness.

“Empathy is a very important word and also forgiveness,” said O’Brien. “We found that someone did something in 1979 that is now not appropriate. They’re dead to us.” O’Brien went on to describe cancel culture as “very Soviet,” saying, “People can also be forgiven. If they even need forgiving. What happened to that?”

Penn agreed with O’Brien, calling the practice “ludicrous.”

If liberals like Penn and O’Brien are already fed up with ultra-woke discourse, how does the rest of America feel?


Helen Keller Dissed In TIME Magazine Feature: ‘Just Another … Privileged White Person’

TIME magazine featured a comment from a left-wing disability activist who dissed Helen Keller as “just another, despite disabilities, privileged white person.”

Keller became both deaf and blind at 19 months old, and with the help of teacher Anne Sullivan, learned how to read and speak.

“[T]o some Black disability rights activists, like Anita Cameron, Helen Keller is not radical at all, ‘just another, despite disabilities, privileged white person,’ and yet another example of history telling the story of privileged white Americans,” TIME reported Tuesday.

“Critics of Helen Keller cite her writings that reflected the popularity of now-dated eugenics theories and her friendship with one of the movement’s supporters Alexander Graham Bell,” TIME added. “The American Foundation for the Blind archivist Helen Selsdon says Keller ‘moved away from that position.'”

The attack on Keller over her race was included in a piece from the magazine, which leans Left politically, that emphasized Keller’s socialist and radical left-wing leanings as an adult.

If students learn anything about Keller as an adult, TIME said, “they don’t learn that she co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920; that she was an early supporter of the NAACP, and an opponent of lynchings; that she was an early proponent of birth control.”

“Some of the reason schools don’t teach much about Keller’s adult life is because she was involved in groups that have been perceived as too radical throughout American history. She was a member of the Socialist Party, and corresponded with Eugene Debs, the party’s most prominent member and a five-time presidential candidate,” the magazine gushed. “She also read Marx, and her associations with all of these far-left groups landed her on the radar of the FBI, which monitored her for ties to the Communist Party.”

Politicos online reacted to the slight against Keller. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” said Mary Vought. “The woke mob is now going after Helen Keller for being white. Never mind the advancements she worked to achieve for those with disabilities.”

“This is INSANE,” wrote Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. “Woke Lefties are now attacking Helen Keller?? As ‘just another, despite disabilities, privileged white person’??”

“There are many adjectives one can use to describe the extraordinary Helen Keller,” he added. “‘Privileged’ is not one of them.”




7 July, 2021

Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines work against 'more lethal and infectious' Lambda variant which has now been spotted in 31 countries

Pfizer and Moderna's Covid vaccines are both effective against the troublesome Lambda variant, scientists believe. The mutant strain has now been spotted in 31 countries — and some doctors fear it is more transmissible than any existing versions.

But in a glimmer of hope, academics in New York say data suggests the variant is still susceptible to vaccines.

New York University Grossman School of Medicine researchers found antibodies triggered by MRNA jabs still neutralised the Lambda variant in laboratory studies.

It is not proof the jabs definitely work in thwarting the strain — but the scientists are confident. 

Both Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines are based on mRNA technology, which had never been used to make jabs until the Covid pandemic.

The mutant strain caught the attention of World Health Organization bosses after it was spotted in the UK, US and Germany. 

Thought to have originated in Peru last summer, it quickly spiralled and now makes up 80 per cent of the South American country's cases. 

Doctors monitoring its growth fear it spreads easier than other strains, including the Indian version that has caused havoc across the world. 

But coronavirus-tracking scientists are puzzled about the true transmissibility of the variant, given it was first spotted in Britain and February and has yet to take off.

They have yet to uncover any proof the variant is actually any more contagious than existing strains, including Delta or 'Delta Plus'. Experts told MailOnline the variant is no reason to cancel or delay Freedom Day in the UK on July 19.

Others also insist there is no evidence to suggest it is deadlier, despite some doctors linking its spread to Peru having the world's worst Covid mortality rate.

The new study, published in a preprint on BioRxiv, offers more hope the variant may not be any more dangerous than other strains already circulating.

Researchers tested samples of the Lambda variant against vaccine-elicited antibodies and ones triggered by powerful drugs — the experimental therapy given to President Donald Trump during his hospital stay with Covid last year.

It showed while the variant 'showed a partial resistance' to the antibodies created by the vaccines, the resistance 'is not likely to cause a significant loss of protection against infection'. 

The New York University study authors wrote: 'The results suggest that the vaccines in current use will remain protective against the lambda variant and that monoclonal antibody therapy will remain effective. 

'The findings highlight the importance of wide-spread adoption of vaccination which will protect individuals from disease, decrease virus spread and slow the emergence of novel variants.'

Australia became the latest country to detect Lambda, it was revealed today. But the case also dates back several months.

The variant was detected in a traveller stuck in hotel quarantine in New South Wales in April, according to the national genomics database AusTrakka.

There is no evidence to suggest the strain has already started to spread among the community in Australia, officials say.

The strain, also known to experts as C.37, is a 'variant of interest' because of its high transmissibility.

Professor Pablo Tsukayama, of Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, said the strain had 'exploded' in the country and was now responsible for 82 per cent of cases.

Professor David Livermore, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, said the New York University study indicates there is 'no good reason for special concern' around the variant.

He told MailOnline it is unlikely the variant is as transmissible as some have said, because it would have overtaken the Delta variant in the UK if that was the case.

Professor Livermore said: 'Clearly we need to keep an eye on new variants. But, so far, there is no evidence of major spread of Lambda outside Peru itself and Chile.

'Peru has the highest Covid death rate worldwide, however it now has a falling trend of cases and deaths and the Brazilian "Gamma" variant is more prevalent elsewhere in South America.

'So I’m underwhelmed by claims that it’s a "sudden new threat", or is "running riot" there.

'I have seen press assertions that Lambda "might" evade vaccines, but can find no evidence to support this claim in the scientific literature — rather [this study] indicates that it is neutralised by both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, with only a small reduction in binding. 

'What’s more, if did escape vaccines and was highly transmissible, why has it failed to expand in the UK whereas the vaccine-covered "Delta" Indian variant has expanded so strongly in recent weeks?

'In short, it needs watching, but no good reason for special concern. It is very definitely not a reason to delay the UK’s Freedom Day.'

University of Queensland virologist Kirsty Short said more research was needed before classifying Lambda as more infectious than the Delta variant.

'It's very preliminary,' said Dr Short told the ABC. 'It's a good starting point, but I certainly wouldn't infer anything from that into the clinic.'

The mutant strain carries the mutation L452Q, which scientists say makes it more transmissible. It is similar to the L452R mutation in the Delta and Epsilon variants which researchers believe make it more infectious.

The strain only accounts for 0.3 per cent of infections in the US and less than 0.1 per cent in Britain.


More evidence COVID-19 vaccines work: Just 0.039% of 19.5 million fully immunized Californians later contracted the disease

A small number of Californians who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later tested positive for the virus.

These so-called 'breakthrough' cases occur when people contract the disease 14 days or more after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna  vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson jab, and which officials say are not surprising.  

Out of 19.5 million people in California who completed their vaccine series, just 7,553 have gotten sick with the virus - meaning a breakthrough case rate of 0.039 percent.

Among those 7,553 people, most had mild COVID-19 cases. Only 62 died from the virus. 

While these numbers reinforce how well the vaccines work, limited reporting on breakthrough cases leaves scientists with questions such as which variants are more likely to cause those breakthroughs.

The Covid vaccines currently in use in the U.S. - Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson - are all extremely good at protecting people against the coronavirus.

These vaccines have lived up to their promise from clinical trials, allowing millions of Americans to go mask-free, travel, and otherwise return to normal life.

Still, in rare cases, people do get infected with the coronavirus after completing a vaccine regimen.

These rare cases are called breakthrough cases. Scientists track these breakthroughs as a way to continuously examine how well the vaccines work.

Recent data from California adds more evidence to that trend.

As of June 30, the state has reported 7,553 breakthrough cases out of 19.5 California residents who are fully vaccinated.

That amounts to one breakthrough case for every 2,583 vaccinated people, or a breakthrough case rate of 0.039 percent.

'The way we should think about these cases is that they're very rare,' Dr George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, told CalMatters.

Out of those 7,553 cases, 584 fully vaccinated Californians went to the hospital with a COVID-19 infection.

The California Department of Public Health notes, however, that many of those people could have been hospitalized for reasons unrelated to Covid but were tested for Covid upon admission.

Data on hospitalization are also missing for about half of California's breakthrough cases.

Only 62 of those Californians with breakthrough cases died with Covid. But again, some of those deaths may have been from other primary causes.

Nationwide, fewer than 5,000 people have been hospitalized with or died from Covid after being fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 4,427 breakthrough hospitalizations and 879 deaths, as of June 28.

Between January 1 and April 30, the CDC reported 10,262 breakthrough cases - at a time when over 100 million Americans had been fully vaccinated.

Starting in May, however, the agency has only investigated and reported those breakthrough cases that lead to hospitalization and death.

The CDC made this decision in order to focus on investigating more severe breakthrough cases, as opposed to those that result in mild symptoms or no symptoms.

But some experts have said it is still important to track mild breakthrough cases, in order to look for trends - and determine whether any new variants are causing the breakthroughs.

Most state public health agencies have followed the CDC's lead and are not tracking breakthrough cases, according to a recent analysis by the Rockefeller Foundation.

California's public health agency is tracking breakthroughs in its state by matching positive test records with vaccination records.

The state has not released sequencing information on its cases, however. It's unknown how many of those 7,553 people may have been infected with the Indian 'Delta' variant.

Studies thus far have shown that the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all work well against the Delta variant.

But without more information on the variants behind breakthrough cases - and with the Delta variant spreading rapidly across the U.S. - it is difficult for scientists to closely monitor the situation.




3 July, 2021

Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective against the Indian 'Delta' variant even after eight months

The American drug giant said there was only a small drop in potency against the highly transmissible variant compared to earlier versions of the virus.

The findings - in line with how other vaccines have fared against the mutant strain - will reassure the more than 12.4 million Americans who have been jabbed with J&J's shot.

There had been concerns that the rapid rise of the Delta variant in the US - where it makes up 26.1 percent of cases - could derail the country's hugely successful vaccine rollout.

But the fact that the UK has managed to keep deaths and hospital rates low, despite the variant accounting for 99 percent of cases in the country, has given confidence that the crisis can be kept under control in America.

It also means that the majority of the world's approved coronavirus vaccines have now been shown to be highly effective at preventing serious illness from the strain. 

The findings were detailed in a press release published by the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based firm on Thursday night. 

Experts took blood samples from eight volunteers who participated in early-stage trials of the vaccine.  

The samples were then exposed to the Delta variant and tested for antibody levels.

They found that levels of neutralizing antibodies only fell by 1.6-fold when tested against the Delta variant compared to the original strain.

'Today's newly announced studies reinforce the ability of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to help protect the health of people globally,' said J&J Chief Scientific Officer Dr Paul Stoffels in a statement. 

'We believe that our vaccine offers durable protection against COVID-19 and elicits neutralizing activity against the Delta variant.'

'This adds to the robust body of clinical data supporting our single-shot vaccine's ability to protect against multiple variants of concern.'

In fact, the study found that neutralizing antibodies level fell more steeply against other variants, including 3.6-fold against the Beta variant, which originated in South Africa, and 3.4-fold against the Gamma variant, which originated in Brazil.

The levels were still high enough to be effective, but encouraging because these variants are far less widespread in the U.S. 

What's more, a sub-study conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center looked at 20 volunteers and found that immune responses were still strong after eight months.

This included T-cells generated by the vaccine such as CD8+ T-cells, which seek out and destroy virus-infected cells. 

People had more of these antibodies eight months after being jabbed than they did 28 days after having the vaccine, it found.   

'Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane' said Dr Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development at J&J's Janssen vaccine arm, in a statement.  

'Rather, we observe an improvement over time. In addition, we observe a persistent and particularly robust, durable cellular immune response.'

Covid is now more like a 'bad cold' thanks to the effect of vaccines, a top epidemiologist has claimed after data showed symptoms of the disease are becoming milder across the board despite rising cases.

King's College London's Covid symptom study estimated there were 25,210 new cases every day in the UK last week, up by almost a third (31 per cent) from the previous seven-day spell.

It said there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of partially or fully vaccinated people catching the virus — but in most cases their symptoms were mild. More than 80 per cent of infections were among the unvaccinated. 

Professor Tim Spector, who leads Britain's biggest Covid surveillance study, said people catching the virus after being vaccinated suffered a milder form of the disease similar to a cold, with sneezing emerging as a new symptom.

'While rates of Covid infection are high, it's reassuring to see vaccinations protecting the vulnerable and deaths remain very low,' he said. 

ZOE Covid study data shows symptoms are more mild and are similar to those of a bad cold, with a runny nose, headache and a sore throat among the top symptoms for all groups. Sneezing has also emerged as a symptom among partially and fully vaccinated people.'

An earlier trial by J&J found that a single dose of its vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing severe disease from Covid. It also reduces the risk of being hospitalized or dying from the virus among all age groups.       

However, J&J stressed that its vaccine provides protection against all if the so-called 'variants of concern'.

In the U.S., 200 million shots have been ordered, but only around 21.4 million have been delivered to states and 12.4 million have been administered.

The company has been plagued by several setback, including contamination problems at a Baltimore factory that helps manufacture the shot and pause after links to rare blood clots.

In April. the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused for 10 days after six women under the age of 50 developed CVST,.

This figure was later updated to include 28 people, including one 45-year-old woman who died.  

J&J doses are expected to arrive in the UK sometime this autumn after getting approval from the medicines regulator in late May.

The vaccine can be given to people aged 18 and over and is likely to be used as a booster jab for care home residents ahead of winter because it can be easily stored and transported at fridge temperatures.

The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will issue advice on exactly who should receive the Belgian-made jab before its officially deployed. 

There is a chance it could be restricted in younger age groups because of its link to extremely rare blood clots.

Like AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine, which is not being used in under-40s in Britain for the same reason, the J&J shot uses adenovirus technology to stimulate the immune system. 

This appears to trigger a devastating immune overreaction in a tiny number of people, mostly young and healthy. 

Trials have shown the vaccine - which US regulators approved in February - to be 67 per cent effective at blocking Covid symptoms from earlier forms of Covid. Other studies have shown it is even better at preventing patients falling severely ill.   

No10's Vaccine Taskforce originally secured 30million doses of the vaccine last year, based on predicted demand at the time.

But because of the huge success of UK's vaccination program, ministers reduced their order to 20m. 

In April, the European Medicines Agency ruled that the jab should come with a clear warning about a serious blood clotting disorder. It made the same recommendation for AstraZeneca's jab. 

In April, the firm itself asked Europe to pause the roll-out of the jab to allow experts to probe the clot cases thoroughly. It later concluded the risk was rare and urged all countries to keep using it. 

Officials insist the disorder - the same as the one seen in AstraZeneca's vaccine - is extremely rare but seems to be happening slightly more often in young people who have been vaccinated.

2 July, 2021 

Pfizer and Moderna COVID Vaccines May Provide ‘Persistent’ Protection: Study

The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance both may provide lasting protection against the virus, researchers have said in a new study.

The peer-reviewed study, published on June 28 in Nature, found that the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines made by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech team induced a “persistent” response within secondary lymphoid tissues, “enabling the generation of robust humoral immunity.”

The effect was most pronounced in people who had been previously infected with the CCP virus, with the vaccines also found to produce high levels of neutralizing antibodies against three emerging variants of the virus.

The implication of the findings is that people who received the mRNA vaccines may be protected over the long term—for years or, potentially, for the rest of their lives.

The study didn’t look into other COVID-19 vaccine technologies, such as Johnson & Johnson’s, which, instead of mRNA, uses a modified adenovirus to deliver genetic information from the CCP virus to human cells to produce an immune response.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis, told The New York Times that he doesn’t think the immune response would be as strong with non-mRNA-based vaccines.

It follows a separate study suggesting that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines—as well as the one produced by AstraZeneca—are broadly effective against the highly contagious Delta and Kappa strains of the virus.

While the Oxford University study, of which a peer-reviewed pre-proof has been published in Cell (pdf), found that both the convalescent and vaccine blood sera had a reduced ability to neutralize the Delta and Kappa variants as compared to “ancestral Wuhan related strains,” there was “no evidence of widespread antibody escape” as seen with the Beta (B.1.351, formerly “South Africa”) variant, “suggesting that the current generation of vaccines will provide protection against the B.1.617 lineage.”

However, the researchers noted that the reduced ability of the vaccine and convalescent sera to neutralize the Gamma and Kappa variants “may lead to some breakthrough infections.”

The World Health Organization’s chief scientist said recently that the Delta strain is becoming the globally dominant version of the disease.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently added a warning about the risk of developing heart inflammation to information about the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. Health officials have said that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks of developing heart inflammation.

For the notes appearing at the side of the original blog see HERE

Pictures put up on a blog sometimes do not last long. They stay up only as long as the original host keeps them up. I therefore keep archives of all the pictures that I use. The recent archives are online and are in two parts:

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