Thursday 29th of October 2020

meanwhile you might die of a displaced health-attention syndrome and/or idleness...


Dr. Williams and Chazan do not live together. Rather, Dr. Williams very likely knows – just as Gates knows – that there is little if any reason to worry about being in close contact with other people unless you or they are vulnerable to developing a severe illness from COVID-19. He surely knows, also, that if you contract COVID-19 and you’re otherwise healthy you’ll very likely have few symptoms, if any, and recover quickly. And that this exposure in fact is beneficial because in the process you will develop antibodies to the virus and have natural, long-lasting immunity to it.

Yet in the March 27 press conference, just like all the others he has participated in during the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Williams lectured the public about maintaining social distancing. He told people not to go outside on the coming weekend to enjoy the nice weather because, otherwise, they might walk past someone and not be two metres apart.

Dr. Williams is among the large cadre of powerful officials who’ve crashed the global economy by forcing tens of millions of small- and medium-sized businesses to close in the name of the need for forced, severe, social distancing and lock-downs.

They’ve shattered society, suspended most civil liberties and prohibited most activities and connections that keep people mentally and physically healthy. At the same time the officials have prioritized COVID-19 care over everything else and, as a result, severely limited billions of people’s access to life-saving healthcare services ranging from acquiring medication and blood transfusions to having organ transplants and cancer surgeries.

Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist in Canada. You can find her recent detailed investigative analysis of COVID here and follow her on Twitter.


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we'll die of liver cirrhosis before covid19 gets us...

Life under the corona sun, with its daily media barrage of growing cases and increasing restrictions on our personal mobility, has become the new normal.

We have been told by our government and health experts that if we self-quarantine, shelter in place, practice social distancing and wash our hands, the virus will dissipate and life as we used to know it will be restored. We have started teleworking and adopted videoconferencing. We have accepted travel restrictions; the cancelations of major entertainment and sporting events, graduations, weddings, and funerals; and the temporary closures of eat-in restaurants, gyms, hair salons, and even dentist offices. 

Most of these guidelines make sense—with one notable exception. Alcohol sales have been deemed an essential business. We are forbidden from attending church or synagogue, but we still have relatively unfettered access to vodka, tequila, bourbon, scotch, and gin.

Liquor stores in most states remain open with the exception of Alabama and Pennsylvania. While Alabama liquor stores are physically closed, customers can make curbside pick-ups. And Pennsylvania residents may purchase beer or wine at grocery stores. In addition, according to Eater, several states, including New York, California, New Hampshire, Maryland,  Illinois, Texas, and the District of Columbia, have temporarily loosened regulations to allow restaurants to sell alcohol along with take-out meals, joining the other 12 states that permitted this service prior to the outbreak. 

The public is clearly appreciative. According to Nielsen, U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55 percent during the week that ended on March 21, and 75 percent versus the same period in 2019. Wine and beer sales are up 66 percent and 42 percent respectively.

The media has been largely focused on the community support argument for maintaining consumer access to alcohol during the pandemic. After all, alcohol represents 20 percent of revenue for American restaurants. The current narrative encourages coming together in this time of crisis to help our small businesses and creating a semblance of normalcy for our communities.


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statistical error of the guesstimate...

Covid19 Death Figures “A Substantial Over-Estimate”


From Kit Knightly


A few weeks ago we reported that, according to the Italian Institute of Health (ISS), only 12% of Italy’s reported Covid19 deaths actually listed Covid19 as the cause of death.

Given that 99% of them had at least one serious co-morbidity (and that 80% of them had two such diseases) this raised serious questions as to the reliability of Italy’s reported statistics.

Prof Walter Ricciardi, advisor to Italy’s health minister, explained this was caused by the “generous” way the Italian government handles death certificates:

The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

Essentially, Italy’s death registration process does not differentiate between those who simply have the virus in their body, and those who are actually killed by it.

Given the amount of fear and panic Italy’s comparatively alarming numbers caused around the world, you would think other nations would be eager to avoid these same mistakes.

Surely all the other countries of the world are employing rigorous standards for delineating who has, and has not, fallen victim to the pandemic, right?


In fact, rather than learning from Italy’s example, other countries are not only repeating these mistakes but going even further.

In Germany, for example, though overall deaths and case-fatality ratio are far lower than Italy’s, their public health agency is still engaging in similar practice.

On March 20th the President of Germany’s Robert Koch Instituteconfirmed that Germany counts any deceased person who was infected with coronavirus as a Covid19 death, whether or not it actually caused death.

This totally ignores what Dr Sucharit Bhakdi calls the vital distinction between “infection” and “disease”, leading to stories such as this, shared by Dr Hendrik Streeck:

In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that was without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics.

How many “Covid19 deaths” in Germany, fall into this bracket? We don’t know, and will likely never know.

But at least Germany is actually limiting itself to test positive cases.

In the United States, a briefing note from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Service read as follows [our emphasis]:

It is important to emphasise that Coronavirus Disease 19, or Covid-19, should be reported for all decedents where the disease caused or is presumed to have caused or contributed to death.

“Presumed to have caused”? “Contributed”? That’s incredibly soft language, which could easily lead to over-reporting.

The referenced detailed “guidance” was released April 3rd, and is no better [again, our emphasis]:

In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID–19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely (e.g., the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed.” In these instances, certifiers should use their best clinical judgement in determining if a COVID–19 infection was likely.

Are careful records being kept to separate “Covid-19” from “presumed Covid-19”? Are the media making sure they respect the distinction in their reporting?

Absolutely not. 

Whenever the alleged casualties are referenced we are fed one large all-inclusive number, without context or explanation, which – thanks to lax reporting guidelines – could be entirely false.

Government agencies all across the UK are doing the same thing.

Northern Ireland’s HSC Public Health Agency is releasing weekly surveillance bulletins on the pandemic, in those reports they define a “Covid19 death” as:

individuals who have died within 28 days of first positive result, whether or not COVID-19 was the cause of death

NHS England’s Office of National Statistics releases weekly reports on nation-wide mortality. Its latest report (Week 12 – March 14th-20th)was released on March 31st and made special mention of Covid19, explaining they were going to change the way they report the numbers in future.

The ONS system is predicated on the registration of deaths. Meaning they count, not the number of people who die every week, but the number of deaths registered per week. This, naturally, leads to slight delays in the recording of numbers as the registration process can take a few days.

However, with coronavirus deaths, since its a “national emergency”, they are now including “provisional figures” which will be “included in the dataset in subsequent weeks”. This leaves them wide open to – either accidentally or deliberately – reporting the same deaths twice. Once “provisionally”, and then once “officially” a week later. 

That’s just one peculiar policy decision. There are many others.

Up until now, the ONS reported those Covid19 numbers collated by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The DHSC records only those who died in hospital and have tested positive for the coronavirus as Covid19 deaths.

BUT, from now on, the ONS will also include Covid19 deaths “in the community” in their statistics. That “includes those not tested for Covid19”and where “suspected Covid19″ [our emphasis] is presumed to be a “contributory factor”.

Here are some screencaps of the relevant sections:

The official NHS guidance for doctors filling out death certificates is just as vague [our emphasis]:

if before death the patient had symptoms typical of COVID19 infection, but the test result has not been received, it would be satisfactory to give ‘COVID-19’ as the cause of death, and then share the test result when it becomes available. In the circumstances of there being no swab, it is satisfactory to apply clinical judgement.

The government is telling doctors it is OK to list “Covid-19” as a cause of death when there is literally no evidence the deceased was infected. That means there are potentially huge numbers of “Covid19 deaths” that were never even tested for the disease.

Further, any possible mistakes will never be noticed or rectified, thanks to recent changes to the law.

Usually, any death attributed to a “notifiable disease” had to be referred to a coroner for a jury hearing. 

Under UK law Covid19 is a “notifiable disease”, but the new Coronavirus Bill alters the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, to specifically exempt alleged Covid19 deaths from jury inquests.

Further, according to the office of the Chief Coroner, the Coronavirus Bill means that these deaths don’t have to be referred to a coroner at all, and that medical practitioners can sign off a cause of death for a body they have never even seen:

Any registered medical practitioner can sign an MCCD [Medical Certificate for Cause of Death], even if the deceased was not attended during their last illness and not seen after death, provided that they are able to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Deaths “in the community” can be listed as Covid19 deaths without being tested for the disease, or even seen by a doctor at all. These deaths will not necessarily be referred to a coroner, and certainly not heard by a jury.

By enacting this legislation the UK government has not only made false reporting of Covid19 deaths more likely, they actively removed the safeguards designed to correct it. Recording accurate fatality numbers in this situation is borderline impossible.

This is, at best, totally irresponsible and at worst incredibly sinister.

Now, before you roll your eyes at the whacky alternate media and their crazy paranoia, the idea deaths are being over-estimated is not a fringe concept or a “conspiracy theory”. It is actually addressed in the mainstream frequently, people just seem to not hear it, drowned out as it is by the fear-inducing headlines.

Dr John Lee, a professor of pathology and retired consulting pathologist with the NHS, wrote in a column for the Spectator:


Many UK health spokespersons have been careful to repeatedly say that the numbers quoted in the UK indicate death with the virus, not death due tothe virus – this matters.
This nuance is crucial ­– not just in understanding the disease, but for understanding the burden it might place on the health service in coming days. Unfortunately, nuance tends to be lost in the numbers quoted from the database being used to track Covid-19
This data is not standardised and so probably not comparable, yet this important caveat is seldom expressed by the (many) graphs we see. It risks exaggerating the quality of data that we have.

In fact, Dr Lee goes out of his way to emphasise:

The distinction between dying ‘with’ Covid-19 and dying ‘due to’ Covid-19 is not just splitting hairs.

The BBC dealt with the same issue in an article on April 1st [again, emphasis ours]:

The death figures being reported daily are hospital cases where a person dies with the coronavirus infection in their body – because it is a notifiable disease cases have to be reported.

But what the figures do not tell us is to what extent the virus is causing the death.

It could be the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they are dying of something else.

These absurd rules contributed to this recent example, referenced in the BBC article, but not widely reported at the time:

An 18-year-old in Coventry tested positive for coronavirus the day before he died and was reported as its youngest victim at the time. But the hospital subsequently released a statement saying his death had been due to a separate “significant” health condition and not connected to the virus.

This story is completely true. The boy was widely reported as the UK’s “youngest coronavirus victim” on March 24th, before the hospital issued a statement saying:

[The hospital] had tested for COVID-19 on the day before he died, but this was not linked to his reason for dying.

Despite the hospital correcting the press, the case was still being reported in the tabloids a week later on March 31st.

However, the important detail here is being lost: Going by the current NHS rules, despite the hospital officially saying it was not his cause of death, this boy is still part of the official coronavirus fatality statistics.

How many more people fit that profile? We will never know.


Italy, Germany, the United States, Northern Ireland and England.

That’s five different governments, across four countries, all essentially saying it’s OK to just assume a patient died of Covid19, and then add that to the official statistics.

Is that really responsible practice during a potential pandemic? 

Are any other countries doing the same?

To what extent can we trust any official death statistics at all, at this point?

As Dr Lee points out, Covid19 is not a disease that presents with a unique – or even rare – collection of symptoms. The range of severity and type of presentation is in line with literally dozens of extremely common respiratory infections.

You cannot see “fever” and “cough” and then diagnose “probable covid19” with even the slightest chance of accuracy.

This has become one of those nuggets of information we all know by heart, but between 290000 and 650000 people die of flu, or “flu like illness”, every year. If just 10% of those cases are incorrectly assumed to be “probable” coronavirus infections, then the fatality numbers are totally useless.

At a time when good, reliable information is key to saving lives and preventing mass-panic, global governments are pursuing policies which make it near-impossible to collect that data, whilst stoking public fear.

Due to these policies, the simple fact is we have no reliable way of knowing how many people have died from this coronavirus. We have no hard data at all. And governments and international organisations are going out of their way to keep it that way.

It’s time we started asking why.



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hydroxychloroquine might work...

Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy of Malaria Drug for Treating Coronavirus Divides Medical Community

While Dr. Anthony Fauci has urged caution in using hydroxychloroquine, some doctors are prescribing it to patients who have the virus despite the fact it has never been tested for it.

WASHINGTON — President Trump made a rare appearance in the Situation Room on Sunday as his pandemic task force was meeting, determined to talk about the anti-malaria medicine that he has aggressively promoted lately as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Once again, according to a person briefed on the session, the experts warned against overselling a drug yet to be proved a safe remedy, particularly for heart patients. “Yes, the heart stuff,” Mr. Trump acknowledged. Then he headed out to the cameras to promote it anyway. “So what do I know?” he conceded to reporters at his daily briefing. “I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense.”

Day after day, the salesman turned president has encouraged coronavirus patients to try hydroxychloroquine with all of the enthusiasm of a real estate developer. The passing reference he makes to the possible dangers is usually overwhelmed by the full-throated endorsement. “What do you have to lose?” he asked five times on Sunday.

Bolstered by his trade adviser, a television doctor, Larry Ellison of Oracle and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, Mr. Trump has seized on the drug as a miracle cure for the virus that has killed thousands and paralyzed American life. Along the way, he has prompted an international debate about a drug that many doctors in New York and elsewhere have been trying in desperation even without conclusive scientific studies.


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Note: Gus having had malaria in the 1960s would suggest that treatment for malaria has a chance to work, in specific dosage of the drugs as not to make people have side effects. All the quinine derivatives seem to quickly reduce fever, leaving the body to fight infections without the stress of fever. Contrarily, this lack of fever could mask the disease impact. In my non-medical view, it's worth using hydroxychloroquine for acute patients and use novaquine as a prevention, in small doses. I have been indulging in a small amount of quinine daily and, despite my age, I haven't had the flu in quite a few years. Touch wood...



"Careful, we're only at the beginning of the trials."


Note: this Charlie Hebdo image could be based on an old engraving:

about time...

A controversial anti-malaria drug will be given to Australian Covid-19 patients in hospitals outside of clinical trials, the federal government confirmed, after the therapeutic goods registration requirements for two drugs were waived to allow them to be imported to and stockpiled in Australia.

The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, are being explored in clinical trials around the world for their potential as a coronavirus treatment to ease symptoms, or as a preventative drug to stop people being overcome with the infection. Trials are exploring use of the drugs on their own as well as in combination with others.

But clinicians have warned that hydroxychloroquine can cause severe and even life-threatening side-effects, and have cautioned against using it for conditions for which it has not been tested. It is a proven treatment for malaria and for some autoimmune conditions.


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And the Charlie Hebdo cover is about laughter that will save us from coronavirus...

then the restrictions must start to be lifted...


But all that's for later. No politician can afford to be seen to put the economy before lives while the death toll is rising, and it would indeed be amoral to do so. But once fatalities plateau and start to decline, and there is sufficient data from testing to know the virus has been largely tamed, then the restrictions must start to be lifted, and the uncomfortable truth about this virus − that it overwhelmingly affects the elderly and the vulnerable −will need to be faced up to. Quarantine for these may have to be maintained for a long time, but for the vast majority of people of working age and younger it is already obvious that there is no particular need to protect them from COVID-19. There are many cases now emerging of younger victims, but this happens of nearly all illnesses. Our lives are precarious as well as precious. Unavoidably, there will always be casualties.


Gates, by the way, does not take this view. He believes the lockdown must be maintained for as long as it takes to effectively eradicate the virus, seemingly regardless of economic cost. He worries about its return in a second wave, requiring further economically crippling lockdowns.

But though Gates is perhaps the closest a business leader will ever come to being a saint, I wonder how far he understands human nature. Never mind the economic costs, there will come a natural breaking point in our ability to tolerate the strange and unsettling new world we have been plunged into.


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fake death certificates...

Minnesota State Senator Scott Jensen appeared on a local news show to report that doctors were receiving instructions from the Minnesota Department of Health to report Covid19 as a cause of death, even if the patient was never tested.

Senator Jensen, who is also a practising physician, said he had never before in his thirty-five-year career received specific instructions on how to fill out a death certificate.

The apparent policy of Minnesota – to report any and all pneumonia or “flu-like illness” decedents as Covid19 cases, with or without a test – ties in with the US policy as described by the CDC’s official memos.

This is not new information, we covered the guidelines from the CDC, here

In fact the governments of Italy, Germany, the UK and Austria all doing the same thing. 

So, while Dr Jensen’s revelation isn’t as shocking as it would have been just 10 days ago, it does at least demonstrate that, within the medical world, these guidelines are not normal. In a separate interview with Lauran Ingraham, Jensen described the guidelines as “ridiculous”.

According to Jensen, citing a colleague, it is not usual practice to ever put “presumptions or probabilities” on a death certificate, but rather to “stick to the facts”.

The question still hangs in the air: Why do national and regional governments appear to be going out of their way to inflate the Covid19 death statistics?

Dr Jensen has his own idea:

Well, fear is a great way to control people, and I worry about that. I worry that sometimes we’re just so interested in jazzing up the fear factor, that…you know, sometimes people’s ability to think for themselves is paralyzed if they’re frightened enough.

Thoughts to consider.


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Meanwhile :


Coronavirus is less deadly than SARS and experts say that's why it's killed more people overall

It's not the first virus to spread rapidly from country to country, nor is it the first to be declared a pandemic — but within weeks, people have lost jobs, and even their lives as a result of COVID-19.

Governments around the world have scrambled to respond to the threat of coronavirus — despite the disease having a far lower mortality rate than other respiratory diseases like SARS or MERS.

Here's why the world has been turned upside down due to COVID-19.

It's less deadly than SARS — that's why it's killing more people overall

There are obvious similarities between COVID-19 and the first pandemic of the 21st century, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which reached the public consciousness in early 2003.

Both SARS and COVID-19 are types of coronavirus, and both are thought to have originated in a Chinese "wet market".

But while SARS made its way to about 30 different countries before being contained, it infected just over 8,000 people and killed 774 by the time the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the pandemic over in mid-2003.

On its own, the figure is huge — but not when compared to COVID-19, which so far has resulted in more than 1.5 million recorded cases and 88,500 deaths.


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Read from top. Read also: a patent away from a catastrophic covid19 disaster...

a vaccine will not be ready for at least a year...

A new COVID-19 vaccine backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has entered phase 1 clinical human testing, reports Tech Crunch.

Gates earlier this week said his foundation will make billions of dollars available for manufacturing the most promising vaccines to combat the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide and killed more than 88,000.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals on Monday received regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing its vaccine in humans. The Gates Foundation, along with other nonprofits, have poured funding into the project.

Inovio's candidate, called INO-4800, is the second potential vaccine to start human trials in the U.S. Moderna, based out of Massachusetts, started dosing in mid-March for its own safety trial.

INO-4800 showed promising results in preclinical studies involving animals, per Tech Crunch, and will be tested on 40 volunteers – all adults selected via screening conducted at either Philadelphia's Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, or the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City.

Data from the trial will be ready by the summer, though a vaccine will not be ready for at least a year.


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closing the gates...

In a stunning turn of events, Surgeon General Jerome Adams explained in an interview on live XM radio, that the Coronavirus Task Force has, effectively, dumped the Bill Gates/CDC/WHO predictive contagion model, and is now working with the real data.

He explained on the Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow, that given the new data, businesses will begin to re-open as early as May, others in June.

This runs contrary to the out-and-out fear-mongering of Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates who have made a media tour, threatening the public that businesses may not re-open for six months to a year, or until and unless governments purchase their conveniently patented, big-pharma vaccination.

According to Dr. Adams:

“What the American people need to know now is we actually have data, and so we’re tracking that data,”

Before this about-face, which appears to have come as an order from the Trump administration in  consultation with the findings of Dr. Adams, the task force was working with’predictive models’, which had been created by the Bill Gates dominated WHO and CDC. Dr. Fausti’s control over the CDC has been criticized in the past for its for-profit motive in handling a range of illnesses from HIV to H1NI.

In those inflated, ‘fear-based’ models, the deaths of millions worldwide, and hundreds of thousands in America, were touted. These were used as the basis for what many experts have termed a ‘grossly disproportionate response‘.

Previously, the task force was working with predictive models, frequently criticized because of their tendency to exaggerate the possible effect of the virus on the United States. Models predicting the deaths of millions and hundreds of thousands in America appear to be overblown, as the real-time data is showing the death count much lower.

Adams said that the models usually took data from different cultures and places around the globe, but they were able to track more accurately what could happen in the United States based on real data gathered in places such as California and New York.

“We’re following this data every single day, and we’re giving that data to communities so that they can make informed and intelligent decisions about when and where to reopen,” he said.

A significant indicator for communities being allowed to reopen, Adams said, was actual testing data, not a predictive model.

“I feel confident that some places will start to reopen in May and June. Other places won’t; it will be piece by piece, bit by bit, but will be data-driven,” he said.

Adams praised South Korea and Singapore, which closed their borders early, just like the United States did with travelers from China. But he said there are lessons learned across the board.


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you will be indemnified with a body bag if the vaccine fails...

Bill Gates: Flu Vaccine Isn’t Effective in the Elderly, COVID-19 Vaccine Will Have to be Different

The flu vaccine “isn’t that effective” in older people so vaccines for COVID-19 will have to be different, according to Bill Gates.

“The efficacy of vaccines in older people is always a huge challenge. Turns out the flu vaccine isn’t that effective in elderly people. Most of the benefit comes from younger people not spreading it because they’re vaccinated and that benefits on a community basis the elderly,” Gates said during an interview with CNBC.

“Here we clearly need a vaccine that works in the upper age range because they’re most at risk of that.”

Vaccine researchers are working to try to create a vaccine that “works in older people” but doesn’t have any side effects, Gates added.

Most vaccines being created are expected to be available next year if they pass through a gamut of tests. It’s possible ones using messenger RNA, a genetic platform, could be ready before earlier than others.

Researchers want to be cautious because they expect the vaccine to be injected into people across all age ranges, including pregnant women, undernourished individuals, and people with co-morbidities, or underlying health conditions, Gates told CNBC.

Understanding that projected widespread adoption, “it’s very, very hard, and that actual decision to say, ‘let’s go and give that vaccine to the entire world,'” Gates said. “Governments will have to be involved because there will be some risk and indemnification needed before that can be decided on.”


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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreads across the world, the search for the manufacturing of a vaccine has begun to take centre stage as a priority for the world's leading national, business, and scientific bodies.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has called for global cooperation on Wednesday to help administer COVID-19 vaccines for up to 7 billion people and offered a further US$150 million in funding towards the manufacturing of therapeutics and treatments.

A coronavirus vaccine could take up to 18 months to be fully ready and established as safe for humans, but global authorities and businesses must look towards distribution now, according to the foundation's chief executive Mark Suzman.

"It's normal to have, at maximum, hundreds of millions of doses manufactured", he said."When you are dealing with a novel pathogen like COVID-19, as and when we get to identifying a successful vaccine, we are going to need billions of doses.""There are 7 billion people on the planet", he said. "We are going to need to vaccinate nearly every one. There is no manufacturing capacity to do that", he explained.

The additional funds from the foundation, which was established and is currently owned by mega-billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, will be in addition to the $100 million it already announced in February to aid the international fight against the pandemic.

Much of the money is to support the development of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatments and vaccines, and to make them globally available, he said.

As well as helping make the vaccines and treatments available globally, it will also be given to developing countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which lack sufficient material and infrastructure to combat the spread.


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see toon at top.............

getting rid of grubby cash...

A consortium of powerful interests that include Visa and Mastercard, the International Monetary Fund, billionaire Bill Gates and the US Treasury have been slowly lobbying for cash to be abolished worldwide and replaced with digital only currencies.

Norbert Haering holds a PhD in economics and is co-founder and co-director of the World Economics Association, the second largest association of economists worldwide. Dr Häring is a financial journalist, blogger and author of popular books on economics.

His two most recent books covered the campaign to abolish cash. The latest "Schönes neues Geld" (Brave new money) published in German in 2018 just came out in Chinese.

Dr Häring initiated a lawsuit in 2015 for the right to pay his fees to public broadcasters in cash, which has since made its way to the European Court of Justice (CJEU). The date for the oral hearing at the CJEU is set for 15 June 2020.

Sputnik: Please explain - for those who know nothing about the subject - what the campaign to abolish cash is all about and who the main players are.

Norbert Häring: Starting about 2005 the “war on cash”, as they were calling it, was just a declared business strategy of Visa and Mastercard to push back [against] the use of cash, because they see it as the main competitor for their credit cards. From about 2011 this kind of talk stopped completely.

Instead they entered into a coalition with the US-government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Citibank and formed the Better Than Cash Alliance to pursue the elimination of cash. But now, they do it under the pretended goal of helping the poor by financially including them.

There are very many academic institutes, standard-setting institutions and governments that have been enlisted in this fight against cash, either with the money of Gates and the other members of the Better Than Cash Alliance or with the diplomatic muscle of the US-government, or both.

Sputnik: Why are they doing this?

Norbert Häring: The interest of the financial sector in selling their own products instead of cash is obvious. The IT-companies want the data that [goes] with digitalisation [of cash] and the US-government wants the surveillance and sanctioning power that goes with digitalisation of payments. The other countries that co-operate also like the aspect of gaining more surveillance power over their populations.

Sputnik: You’ve written about how India was used as a large-scale “guinea pig” in eliminating cash. Can you briefly describe what happened there and who was behind it?

Norbert Häring: In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on TV declaring all but the smallest denomination banknotes “demonetised” with only 4 hours’ notice. This meant you could not pay with them anymore. You had to bring them to the bank. This led to days of chaos and months of extreme dearth of cash in a country where half the population does not even have a bank account and 90 percent of payments are done in cash.

The pretended goal was to hurt those who hoarded [money from the black market]. That failed completely. Within weeks the government switched to the declared goal of “financial inclusion” and modernising the financial system. They planted stories in the media to make it seem that it was a small group of Indians around Modi who thought of this.

However, on my blog and in my book, I pointed to a host of very close “financial inclusion” cooperation of the Indian central bank with the Gates Foundation, the US-government and other US-anti-cash institutions.

Sputnik: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation appears to be one of the key actors in this push for a cashless world. Do we know why they seem so committed to this project?

Norbert Häring: If you think of Gates as a Microsoft person, there is the interest of Microsoft, and other US-IT-companies that are involved, in digitalising everything to do more business and to get more data. Financial data is among the most valuable data.

Bill Gates is also a prominent participant in many national security groups and gatherings. He clearly is a patriot, who holds US national security interests very close to his heart. And these are understood to be furthered by more data and more control about what the rest of the world is doing.

Sputnik: Are COVID-19 and 'The Great Lockdown' being used to further push the "war on cash"?

Norbert Häring: Yes, of course, it is used very much in this respect. Banks are running mailing and internet campaigns, telling their customers that cash is dirty and cards or mobile payment solutions are not. They do so despite the lack of any evidence that the virus can be transmitted via cash. Most health experts say that [cash] is not a relevant channel [for the virus].

Sputnik: What are your concerns about the world shifting away from cash. Isn’t it more convenient if we can all hold and make use of our currency digitally?

Norbert Häring: Sure, it is convenient. Nobody is keeping anybody from using digital money. I use it too. Only some businesses, who consider the fees of the financial institutions to high, will not accept digital money. That’s one reason, why these financial intermediaries want to do away with cash. So that they can raise their prices, which is not in our interest.

More importantly: everything that we pay [for] digitally is recorded, seen and stored by various service providers and ends up in our bank account information. If there is no possibility of using cash any more, our bank account information will be a near-complete log of our life. Anybody with the power to look into it, who develops an interest in us at any time, can see where we have been and what we did for every day and hour, decades into the past.

Many people correctly think that nobody with the power to do this will ever develop enough of an interest in them. However, they have to realise that it means something for them, too, if they have to live in a society, in which every person of any importance is totally transparent for the powerful and can thus be blackmailed or destroyed by them at will. This is inconsistent with democracy and a free society.

Sputnik: You are directly involved in a legal challenge over the ability to pay for the obligatory fee to the public broadcasters in Germany by using cash. The case will soon be heard by the European Court of Justice’s Grand Chamber. Can you briefly explain the significance of this case and why you have taken it to the EU’s highest court?

Norbert Häring: I did not quite take it to the ECJ myself. The case went up to the highest administrative court in Germany, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht. They agreed with me as regards German law, but were unsure about how German law conforms with European law and thus put the case in front of the highest EU court.

I am doing this because I want to defend the right to use cash and I found that many of the measures that are taken to make cash inconvenient and hard to use are in violation of the status of euro banknotes and coins as legal tender.

If I win, the anti-cash-campaigners will have it harder. Government agencies and offices – including the tax authority – will not be allowed any more to refuse to take cash, or to charge an extra fee for it, as they are increasingly doing. Measures like upper limits on cash payments will become quite questionable, legally, if I win. It might not be possible to introduce new ones, in this case.

Sputnik: How successful has the drive to go cashless been so far, is there resistance to it and if so where is it coming from?

Norbert Häring: It is a successful but slow process in most rich countries with functioning democracies, because people care a lot about their right to use cash. Because of this resistance of the population they can only use indirect measures, like regulations for banks that make cash more inconvenient and expensive for them, a cost, which they pass on to customers. There has even been a paper by the IMF that recommends such indirect measures to get around the resistance of the population.

Because the enemies of cash tread carefully, and politicians always protest that nobody wants to take away our cash, organised political resistance is not a big factor, yet.

On the Right, where people are more suspicious of government, there is some [resistance], because they see the threat to civil liberties. The Left, unfortunately, is totally naive in this regard.


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india under covidgates...

Some might ask why India is in complete lockstep with global lockdown despite the very low COVID19-related mortality figures for 1.3 billion people.

Embedded above is a two-hour interview with investigative journalist Kapil Bajaj. It focuses on the Public Health Foundation of India and how the Gates Foundation-pharma cabal bought influence, embedded itself within government machinery and is determining India’s lockdown and public health policy. According to Bajaj, it has effectively privatised and taken over the state’s public health agenda. 

In India, tens of millions are in danger of acute hunger and starvation. Lockdown has caused massive population displacement, probably the biggest since independence as millions of migrant workers returned to their villages, and has devastated livelihoods, especially among the poorest sections of society.

Even with the inflated COVID-related global death figures we see, those figures could be massively outstripped by the impacts of lockdown. 

A study published in the Lancet in May predicted that globally possibly an additional 6,000 children could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months as the response to COVID-19 continues to weaken health systems and disrupt routine services. Based on the worst of three scenarios in 118 low- and middle-income countries, the analysis estimates that an additional 1.2 million under-five deaths could occur in just six months due to reductions in routine health service coverage levels and an increase in child wasting.


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Coronavirus in India: Sikh temples in Delhi save millions from hunger

As Indian authorities struggle to contain COVID-19, Delhi's Sikh community has come together to feed millions of people with food cooked every day at gurdwaras.

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Coronavirus latest: No return to old normal for foreseeable future — WHO

The World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic has the potential to get far worse. A German study showed schools may not play a strong role in the virus' spread. Follow DW for the latest.



The old normal?...

at the gates of vaccination paradise...


Bill Gates doubts FDA & CDC can be trusted on Covid & vaccines. Sure, let’s trust a non-doctor billionaire who pays media instead

By Helen Buyniski — an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

As plutocratic philanthropist Bill Gates urges Americans to reject government regulators and embrace private-sector vaccine developers – which he both funds and profits from – it’s worth asking why people still trust this man.

Gates bemoaned the decline of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, the US’ two chief health regulatory agencies in charge of monitoring drug safety, in a pair of interviews on Tuesday, insisting they’d become politicized servants of the Trump administration. Instead, he argued, Americans should trust private-sector pharmaceutical companies – specifically Pfizer – to save the day with a Covid-19 vaccine, possibly even before the year’s end!

Like much of the advice Gates has spouted during the Covid-19 pandemic, his dismissal of the regulators was self-serving and unsupported by medical expertise or evidence. Worse, it was reported uncritically by the media establishment, many of whom neglected to disclose the money they receive from the Gates Foundation alongside their fawning coverage of its founder.

As a major investor in the pharmaceutical sector who has shoveled millions of dollars into development of seven different vaccines for the novel coronavirus alone, Gates stands to make trillions if one of “his” jabs eventually “wins.” He has made no secret of his desire to vaccinate the entire population of the earth, a mind-bogglingly expensive project that would presumably be paid for by the same hapless governments that have been bullied into assuming all the liability for the rushed jab’s side effects.

With the US and other countries already inking multiple high-dollar deals for hitherto-untested (and in a few cases, clearly unsafe) vaccines, the only potential obstacles to the biggest payday in pharmaceutical history are the regulators, which – though largely defanged and domesticated by a muscular pharmaceutical lobby – still require a few basic safety requirements to be met in order to roll out a new shot. After a patient in AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was left with serious spinal cord damage, it was the FDA that voiced concerns about resuming the trial – even as British regulators merrily green-lighted potential further harms. Every regulatory roadblock is more money Gates has to shell out to eventually recoup his investment.



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