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Big Smartphone is watching you

By Edward Fitzgibbon | TCW Defending Freedom | July 18, 2022

YOU may have noticed that it’s impossible to walk down a city street and not see smartphones everywhere. The interminable fiddling, the addictive near-impossibility for most people of not taking them everywhere they go. While recognising the dazzling technological ingenuity of these slimline contraptions, I’ve come to see them for what I truly believe them to be: an increasing threat to our freedom.

This claim is not made lightly, and I’ve never been a Luddite about  modern technology.

It’s not what they are that is the danger, but what they will become, and what they will be used for.

You’ll probably recall the harrowing, nightmarish scenes in Shanghai, with the hazmat-suited, violent, robot-like police. And what’s the other thing you’ll notice? Almost every protester is waving a smartphone, apparently impotently, at the utterly indifferent zombies of the CCP.

The Chinese authorities clearly feel that they have nothing to fear from having their ghastly activities filmed by their unfortunate citizens, or for those terrible scenes to be broadcast to the world. And how are the people of Shanghai (and other places) controlled, in a manner unpleasantly reminiscent of social insects? Smartphones.

The unconcealed intention of the WEF globalist totalitarians is to impose a digital ID surveillance state which no one can evade and from which no one can escape.

The obvious addictiveness of smartphones, and their ubiquity, makes them the ideal tool for control and oppression.

The so-called ‘Vaccine Passport’ is a euphemism for what will be, and is intended to be, a Slave’s Passport on the Chinese model. If you have difficulty believing that this might be true, peruse the list of information about you that a ‘passport’ (supposedly containing a record of your jabs and boosters) will contain: all manner of personal details, including your political views, who you associate with, your criminal record and your private medical details. It’s precisely the same list the CCP use to control their citizens’ lives down to the last detail. Simply put, if you don’t comply to the last jot and tittle with the government, you are excluded from society, shunned, shamed and increasingly unable to buy essential supplies, even food. Like the people in Shanghai.

Is this all too far-fetched for you? Slightly older readers might like to try a thought experiment: recall that life continued well enough before smartphones came into all-too-common use. It really did.

Don’t make the dangerously naive assumption that ‘this is Britain and Shanghai could never happen here’. Your addiction to your smartphone could end up trapping you and, through your compliance, all of us, in the nightmare vision of a totalitarian world that Schwab, Gates, the WEF and the WHO have long planned and are assiduously cultivating, step by step.

Your smartphone is nothing less than the shackle that will imprison you, irrevocably,  in the Great Reset. Have the courage to dump it.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

New Data from Germany: Births and Even Abortions are Down!

Accidental Pregnancies are an Independent Indicator of Fertility

By Igor Chudov | July 17, 2022

Three weeks ago, I wrote an article about Germany, highlighting a very large and consistent drop in births starting January this year, 9 months after vaccination of young people began, until March.

Dramatic Decline in Births in Germany

Since then, I found more data regarding Germany:

  • Arkmedic pointed out that April births are available (read his article!)
  • I found data on 2021 ABORTIONS in Germany, also showing an uncharacteristically large decline in abortions (accidental pregnancies). The abortion data is a completely independent confirmation of the declining fertility of Germans.

Births

We have new data for April — births dropped by 12% in 2022, compared to April of 2021.

Before I go further, I have to remind my readers: birth rates are always seasonal! Most parents prefer to make a “spring baby”, which often ends up with them making a “summer baby” because conception takes more time than expected. So, never compare adjacent months as they are guaranteed to have dramatic changes that are simply seasonality-driven, with differences very repeatable over the years. Only compare months of one year with the same months of another year, please.

The data comes from the German Bureau of Statistics. (if this link does not bring you to the exact page, select “population” and drill down to “births”). I summarized it for you:

You can see that births suddenly started dropping in Dec 2021, (going from +5% yoy in November to 1% in December, down to -10% in January and -13.28% in February. The suddenness and extent of this drop are unprecedented.

The data for April confirmed that the reduction in birth rate over the first three months is not a fluke and is continuing for the fourth month.

Abortions

Many people feel strongly about abortions. I understand. I am asking you to suspend your feelings for a moment and look at abortions like a demographer would.

Remember: abortions result from unplanned pregnancies! Aside from a relatively small amount of abortions happening due to fetal abnormalities, most abortions happen because the pregnancy was unexpected, unwanted, and accidental.

What this means is, absent large changes in the laws of the land, sudden increases or decreases in abortions happen only because of changes in fertility.

Live births may see increases or decreases because of changed desire to have children due to social factors. In the case of abortions, however, the pregnancy is ALMOST ALWAYS unplanned to begin with, so social factors like economic expectations have little to do with most abortions. Those abortions are only indications of fertility and desire to have unprotected sex.

So… abortions in 2021 fell by 5.3%!

How large is this effect? Between 1996 and 2021, abortions fell by an average of 1,452 abortions per year. In the year 2021, abortions fell by 5,352! The recent years prior to 2021 saw little change in abortions. Thus, the decline of 5,352 abortions in the year 2021 likely is due to the changed fertility of young people in Germany and shows a great decline in unplanned, accidental pregnancies. Abortions are never planned, remember!

Please recall that younger Germans in 2021 did not start vaccinations until about May or so. Thus, if vaccinations are the cause of lower fertility, their effect on pregnancies would not be seen until the second half of 2021.

Furthermore, since abortion is done after about a month into the pregnancy, you can add about a month and deal with about 5 months out of 12 in 2021, most affected by vaccinations. Thus, a 5% drop in abortions could roughly mean a 12% decline in fertility starting about July.

This is a rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation that indicates that abortion data largely agrees with the hypothesis that declines in birth rates are caused by vaccination, and not by social conditions.

The abortion story is not, as such, a proof of causation: it is a piece of evidence that agrees with my vaccination hypothesis, and strongly disagrees with the possibility that change in fertility is caused by social factors.

So we see that both abortions, as well as April birth data in Germany, coincide and suggest that vaccinations caused a large drop in fertility among the people of Germany.

See Also

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Beijing citizens criticize Covid surveillance devices

By Ken Macon | Reclaim The Net | July 17, 2022

Some residents of Beijing are pushing back against a Covid tracking device they are required to wear on their wristbands. Anyone returning to Tiantongyuan, a residential district in northern Beijing, is required to wear the device all day for seven days.

The device records someone’s temperature every five minutes. According to China Daily, the device’s corresponding app has access to the phone’s microphone, location, and camera.

Those forced to wear the device have raised concerns about how it monitors the location and what is done with the data collected. The development of the device was a collaboration between the government and Beijing Microchip Sensing Technology, which is backed by China’s tech giant Tencent.

One of the people that received the wristband was Dahongmao, a tech blogger who shared his experience with the device on social media.

“If this bracelet can connect to the internet, it definitely can record my movements and it’s almost like wearing electronic handcuffs. I don’t want to wear it,” he said.

“The issuer said it’s a requirement from higher up and that I shouldn’t make it difficult for her. I said I would not want to make it difficult for her but she could tell those above her that I won’t wear it. If you insist that I wear it, you’ll have to come up with the documents that prove that it’s a Beijing government requirement and that this is not some unlicensed company trying to make a profit.”

China Daily and South China Morning Post were separately told by a Beijing COVID-19 hotline that the use of the devices was at the discretion of the residential community.

Earlier this week, Hong Kong announced it would roll out tracking bracelets to enforce its mandatory one-week home isolation.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 2 Comments

Eighty Times More Excess Deaths Associated With Cold Each Year than Heat

BY TOBY YOUNG | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | JULY 17, 2022

Amid all the hysteria about next week’s extreme temperatures – which could climb to 41°, according to the Met Office – it’s worth bearing in mind that many, many more excess deaths in England and Wales are associated with cold each year than with heat. According to a recent study in the Lancet Planetary Health, between 2000 and 2019, there were an average of 65,000 excess deaths per year in England and Wales associated with cold, but fewer than 800 a year associated with heat. In other words, roughly 80 times more deaths per year are associated with cold than heat.

Needless to say, the report’s authors blame these excess deaths on ‘climate change’ in general and have nothing to say about the likelihood of the 65,000 figure increasing next winter as a result of rising energy bills.

The researchers analysed 10.7 million deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 2000 and 2019 across over 37,473 small areas that include around 1,600 residents, also known as lower super output areas (LSOAs). They then linked these data with high-resolution gridded temperature maps and potential drivers of vulnerability to heat and cold, including demographic and socio-economic factors, health and disability, housing and neighbourhood, landscape, and climatological characteristics. This allowed the researchers to characterise differences across small areas and map variation in temperature-related mortality risks across the two countries.

Dr Pierre Masselot, Research Fellow in in Environmental Epidemiology and Statistics at LSHTM and co-author of the study, said: “The results come at a critical time as countries and communities face increasing health impacts due to climate change and need to find effective ways to adapt to changing temperatures. The analytical framework also provides a flexible tool that can be adapted for future studies which aim to model temperature-related risks and impacts at small-area level under different climate change scenarios.”

The authors emphasised that, while the research showed that excess mortality attributed to cold was significantly higher than that attributed to heat, these results should be interpreted with caution as more cold than hot days were recorded throughout the year. Despite this, they highlighted that cold-related mortality is evidently a considerable health burden, particularly in deprived areas, and should be addressed with targeted public health interventions.

Nevertheless, any un-biased person reading this report cannot help but conclude that the rising cost of utility bills caused, in part, by the Government’s pursuit of ‘net zero’ will result in far more deaths than next week’s heat wave.

If you really care about reducing deaths due to extreme temperatures, shouldn’t you focus your energies on getting the Government to scrap its ‘net zero’ target, lift the ban on Fracking and start investing billions in nuclear[?], instead of disrupting traffic and sporting events?

You can read the Lancet Planetary Health study here.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Russia-Iran relations take a quantum leap

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | JULY 17, 2022

When US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan first spoke about a potential Iran-Russian drone deal, Moscow kept quiet and Tehran issued a pro forma rebuttal, which suggested that it is still a work in progress. Sullivan’s disclosure appeared at the end of a White Course briefing for President Biden’s West Asia tour to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and seemed to have an element of grandstanding aimed at fuelling the latent anti-Iran sentiments in the Gulf region that could in turn impart momentum to POTUS’ project to put together an Israeli-Arab military front in the region. 

In the event, the ploy didn’t work. After Biden’s visit ended, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told CNN, amongst other things, that talks are going on between Iran and the GCC states for improvement of relations and the focus should be on changing Iran’s behaviour. 

But Sullivan has repeated his charge and has since added that an official Russian delegation “recently received a showcase of Iranian attack-capable UAVs,” the last time being as recently as on July 5. CNN has cited White House officials as saying that Iran is expected to supply Russia with hundreds of drones for use in the war in Ukraine, “with Iran preparing to begin training Russian forces on how to operate them as early as late July.” 

Iran is known to have a varied drone ecosystem and is reportedly showcasing to Russia the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 “killer” drones. According to published information, Shahed-129 has a wingspan of 50 feet with a cruising speed of about 160 km per hour, an endurance of 24 hours with a range of 1,700 km and a ceiling of 24,000 feet. The 129 can carry 8  Sadid-345 miniaturized precision-guided bombs capable of hitting moving targets. The bomb’s small size with a range of 6 km, reduces collateral damage and would allow the Shahed to achieve more kills or attack strikes per mission. 

The Shahed 191 carries two Sadid-1 missiles internally, has a cruising speed of 300 km/h, an endurance of 4.5 hours, a range of 450 km, and a payload of 50kg. The ceiling is 25,000 ft. Iran’s Fars News Agency says the Shahed 191 has been used in combat in Syria. 

Both are stealth drones, harder for air defences to detect. Russia is, reportedly, short of such armed drones, which have the capability to undertake long-range missions to find and destroy, for example, the US-supplied HIMARS mobile rocket launchers which are currently deployed in Ukraine as well as knocking out Ukrainian air defences. Besides, drones are relatively cheap and expendable, unlike crewed aircraft.

If the drone deal indeed goes through, as seems likely, it will mark a quantum leap in Russia-Iran relations. For, Iran will be doing something that only China is capable of doing but won’t out of fear of US reprisal. That makes Iran a very special partner country indeed. Ironically, Russia is yet to upgrade its relationship with Iran as “strategic.” 

On its part, Iran is literally sticking out its neck in an act of defiance of the West’s “rules-based order”, as Russia will be deploying its weapon systems on a European battlefield against the air defence systems supplied to Ukraine by the US and NATO countries. There cannot be many parallels of an emerging middle power rendering such critical help to a superpower in high-tech warfare in real conditions on the frontline. Of course, it enhances Iran’s standing regionally and internationally. 

In geopolitical terms, however, the most important salience lies in the certainty that the door is closing on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US via European mediators. Tehran would have drawn the conclusion already that President Joe Biden is virtually co-opting his predecessor’s [Israel Lobby dictated] Iran policy and the US has reverted to its decades-old strategy of promoting an Israeli-Arab front against Tehran. Put differently, Tehran is moving on to a trajectory that is predicated on unremitting American hostility. 

This will mean that Tehran will double down on its efforts to improve relations with its Aran neighbours and explore all possible avenues in that direction, seizing the window of opportunity in the new Saudi thinking to reduce its dependence on the US and explore its strategic autonomy. It is possible to say that Tehran is a beneficiary if the Saudi-Russian and Saudi-Chinese relationships strengthen. Arguably, Saudi Arabia’s quest for BRICS membership brings the Kingdom tantalisingly close to Iran’s world view which places primacy on a democratised, multipolar world order where every country is free to choose its developmental path. 

To be sure, against this backdrop, President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran on Tuesday is invested with great importance. Iran is becoming one of the most consequential relationships for Russia. What began as a limited alliance in Syria is taking on a global character. 

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 4 Comments

US sponsored Kurdish SDF calls on Russia and Iran to prevent planned Turkish military operation

MEMO | July 17, 2022

The head of the Kurdish-led militant group Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has called on Russia and Iran to help prevent Turkiye from launching a military offensive against its positions in northern Syria, as the threat of a new Turkish operation continues to loom.

According to the AFP news agency, the SDF’s chief commander Mazloum Abdi urged the involvement of Moscow and Tehran against Ankara’s aims in the region this week, accusing the US-led global coalition to defeat Daesh – also known as Operation Inherent Resolve – of taking a “weak” position that is “insufficient to end the threats.”

In May, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to launch a new military operation into the areas controlled by the Kurdish militias, which would be Turkey’s fourth such offensive in northern Syria. The operation is meant as an effort to clear the 30-kilometre-deep ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria from remaining Kurdish militant elements, in order to settle at least a million Syrian refugees there.

Abdi also reiterated that after negotiating with Russia, Kurdish militant forces allowed the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to reinforce their troops in Kurdish-controlled areas, particularly in cities such as Kobane and Manbij in the north of the country. The threat of a renewed Turkish offensive had seemingly forced the SDF to strengthen ties with Assad, Russia, and now Iranian forces in an effort to repel Ankara’s planned operation.

Abdi’s call for Russian and Iranian assistance is likely more diplomatic than military, as it comes only days before a summit that is to be held in Iran from Tuesday, in which Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi will host Erdogan and their Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a renewed set of negotiations on Syria and the ongoing 11-year-long conflict.

If Moscow and Tehran heed the SDF’s call, they may be expected to attempt to discourage Ankara from its planned military operation.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

‘NATO Weapons Double Civilian Casualties in DPR’

Samizdat – 17.07.2022

DONETSK – The number of civilian casualties in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) more than doubled after Ukraine was equipped with NATO’s long-range rocket systems and Tochka-U tactical missile systems, a military expert told Sputnik on Sunday.

“Since the start of the special operation, the DPR’s territory has been shelled over 30 times with Tochka-U missiles, there were more than 400 cases of shelling with 155mm NATO munitions, and the enemy used HIMARS MLRS more than five times. We should note that once the [Ukrainian forces] started using NATO weapons, there has been a 2.5-fold increase in civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure,” a military expert to the Joint Center on Control and Coordination of the ceasefire regime (JCCC) Sergey Pereverzev said.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. Moscow and Kiev have made several attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, with a couple of meetings taking place in Turkey, and both exchanged several dozens of war prisoners. However, no agreement has been reached so far and the talks have been paused on Kiev’s initiative.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

The West’s Duplicity in the Food Crisis Caused by the Shortage of Grain

By Vladimir Danilov – New Eastern Outlook – 17.07.2022

Governments of many countries have recently been talking more and more about a possible food crisis in the near future, actively involving representatives from the UN and other international organizations, and numerous media platforms in this information campaign.

Yet, in addition to drawing everyone’s attention to the issue of combating hunger, which is especially threatening to the world’s poorest countries, the US and its Western allies are actively trying to use this situation to fuel their latest Russophobic campaign. Such provocative actions very quickly become understandable when, amidst the so-called “threats” of the global food crisis, the West places the blame on Russia alone because of its special operation against the neo-fascist regime in Kiev, sponsored by the USA and its allies. In doing so, the West is making unfounded accusations of Russia allegedly preventing the export of grain from Ukraine by sea, while keeping suspiciously silent about it not being Russia, but the regime in Kiev who has mined not only all Ukrainian ports, but even the distant shores of the Black Sea, and these mines have already left their anchors, which requires Ukraine to clear the mines from sea transport lanes and routes.

Today it has become clear to everyone that, in terms of the energy crisis and global economic collapse, and even more so in food problems, the United States itself and its Western allies are primarily to blame. It is their treacherous sanctions policy that has destroyed the international order and brought chaos to logistics and transport chains. Accusations by the West against Russia over the food crisis can only be considered as evidence of American efforts to redistribute the global agro-industrial market, which implies ousting Russia from the field of food trade, according to the Telegram channel of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington.

The recent statements by member countries of the G7 about the shortage of wheat and the food crisis allegedly caused by Russia being a political provocation is pointed out by Hu Bingchuan, a researcher at the Institute of Rural Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in an article for the Chinese newspaper Huanqiu Shibao. As follows from his explanations, based on an objective assessment of the processes on the world food market, the absence of wheat from Ukraine will quickly be ironed out due to offers from other countries that supply grain growing – this is primarily Russia, Canada, and several European countries. It is already known that this year the total volume of grain production in the Russian Federation could reach 130 million tons, of which 87 million tons will be wheat, which is an absolute record. Wheat exports in 2022-2023 from Canada will also increase by 8.5 million tons, and by five million tons from the EU. The purpose of Western statements about Russia’s alleged “wheat war” is to create new restrictions against Moscow. The expert emphasizes that such statements have a clear political Russophobic orientation, and the current rise in wheat prices is not provoked by the lack of grain, but “its inconsistent global distribution among those who want it.”

Due to the recent policy pursued by Western countries, food prices in European nations and a number of other countries have already risen sharply, with many goods being sold in limited quantities. At the same time, if for rich countries the current situation simply portends a looming crisis, then for poor nations it threatens a real famine, which, in turn, could provoke an even greater crisis in the world, as it will lead to uprisings, revolutions, and wars.

Against the backdrop of the food crisis, the demand for Russian agricultural products around the world (which was quite high before), has increased several times. According to results from last year, Russian agro-industrial and fishery complex products were sent abroad to the tune of more than $37 billion. Under these conditions, and in order to avoid anti-Russian sanctions and the influence of Western food speculators regarding price, the Russian authorities will now only sell domestic grain and other agricultural products on the National Commodity Exchange and only for rubles.

As for the story artificially inflated by the United States about the amount of Ukrainian grain ready for export, it’s no secret to anyone that this is simply informational hype provoked by Washington to denigrate Russia. And this confirms the complete inconsistency with the truth of the story about 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain allegedly being blocked by Russia, previously disclosed by US President Biden. Even with a superficial analysis by experts, it turns out that at best there are 5 million tons of grain today in Ukraine. But it is constantly being exported in the direction of the states of the EU, immediately being poured into their storage facilities, and not sent somewhere south to those African countries suffering from hunger, which European politicians and experts constantly talk about. The German Ministry of Agriculture stated that in May alone Europe received 1.7 million tons of grain from Ukraine. Additionally, don’t forget that Ukraine’s share of world grain production is only 1.5%.

Russia has repeatedly stated its readiness to facilitate the export of even this remaining amount of grain from Ukraine, guaranteeing the unimpeded passage of ships with grain through the Black Sea. This is confirmed by the recent meeting in Istanbul of delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN to discuss the grain issue.

Meanwhile, what the West deliberately remains silent about, thereby demonstrating its frank duplicity, is all the obstacles created by the regime in Kiev over the “grain issue.” Per an official statement by the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson Region, Kirill Stremousov, Ukraine is deliberately setting fire to wheat fields on the border of the Kherson Region. “Helicopters flew and set fire to wheat fields on the demarcation line. This is a Nazi regime and they don’t care,” Stremousov said.

The attempts to set fire to wheat fields in the Kherson Region by Ukrainian helicopters will be suppressed by air defense systems, said the head of the regional administration Volodymyr Saldo. He also stressed that “they stoop so low so as to destroy the labor of rural workers who have put their heart and soul into it.” The head of the administration called the Ukrainian military’s actions malicious and inhumane, describing them as an attempt to scare the local population.

Yet, no reports on this issue in the Western media, and even more so the censure of the authorities in Kiev for such crimes, can be expected from the West…

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Dr. Birx Praises Herself While Revealing Ignorance, Treachery, and Deceit

By Jeffrey A. Tucker | Brownstone Institute | July 16, 2022

The December 2020 resignation of Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator under Trump, revealed predictable hypocrisy. Like so many other government officials around the world, she was caught violating her own stay-at-home order. Therefore she finally left her post following nine months of causing unfathomable amounts of damage to life, liberty, property, and the very idea of hope for the future.

Even if Anthony Fauci had been the front man for the media, it was Birx who was the main influence in the White House behind the nationwide lockdowns that did not stop or control the pathogen but have caused immense suffering and continue to roil and wreck the world. So it was significant that she would not and could not comply with her own dictates, even as her fellow citizens were being hunted down for the same infractions against “public health.”

In the days before Thanksgiving 2020, she had warned Americans to “assume you’re infected” and to restrict gatherings to “your immediate household.” Then she packed her bags and headed to Fenwick Island in Delaware where she met with four generations for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, as if she were free to make normal choices and live a normal life while everyone else had to shelter in place.

The Associated Press was first out with the report on December 20, 2020.

Birx acknowledged in a statement that she went to her Delaware property. She declined to be interviewed.

She insisted the purpose of the roughly 50-hour visit was to deal with the winterization of the property before a potential sale — something she says she previously hadn’t had time to do because of her busy schedule.

“I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” Birx said in her statement, adding that her family shared a meal together while in Delaware.

Birx said that everyone on her Delaware trip belongs to her “immediate household,” even as she acknowledged they live in two different homes. She initially called the Potomac home a “3 generation household (formerly 4 generations).” White House officials later said it continues to be a four-generation household, a distinction that would include Birx as part of the home.

So it was all a sleight-of-hand: she was staying home; it’s just that she has several homes! This is how the power elite comply, one supposes.

The BBC then quoted her defense, which echo the pain experienced by hundreds of millions:

“My daughter hasn’t left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months. They’ve become deeply depressed as I’m sure many elderly have as they’ve not been able to see their sons, their granddaughters. My parents have not been able to see their surviving son for over a year. These are all very difficult things.”

Indeed. However, she was the major voice for the better part of 2020 for requiring exactly that. No one should blame her for wanting to get together with family; that she worked so hard for so long to prevent others from doing so is what is at issue.

The press piled on and she announced that she would be leaving her post and not seeking a position at the Biden White House. Trump tweeted that she will be missed. It was the final discrediting – or should have been – of a person that many in the White House and many around the country had come to see as an obvious fanatic and fake, a person whose influence wrecked the liberties and health of an entire country.

It was a fitting end to a catastrophic career. So it would make sense that people might pick up her new book to find out what it was like to go through that kind of media storm, the real reasons for her visit, what it was like to know for sure that she must violate her own rules in order to bring comfort to her family, and the difficult decision she made to throw in the towel knowing that she has compromised the integrity of her entire program.

One slogs through her entire book only to find this incredible fact: she never mentions this. The incident is missing entirely from her book.

Instead at the moment in the narrative at which she would be expected to recount the affair she says almost in passing that “When former vice president Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, I’d set a goal for myself—to hand over responsibility for the pandemic response, with all its many elements, in the best possible place.”

At that point, the book skips immediately to the new year. Done. It’s like Orwell, the story, even though it was reported for days in the world press and became a defining moment in her career, is just wiped out from the history book of her own authorship.

Somehow it makes sense that she would neglect to mention this. Reading her book is a very painful experience (all credit to Michael Senger’s review) simply because it seems to be weaving fables on page after page, strewn with bromides, completely lacking in self awareness, punctuated by revealing comments that make the opposite point of what she is seeking. Reading it is truly a surreal experience, astonishing especially because she is able to maintain her delusionary pose for 525 pages.

Recall that it was she who was tasked – by Anthony Fauci – with doing the really crucial thing of talking Donald Trump into green-lighting the lockdowns that began on March 12, 2020, and continued to their final hard-core deployment on March 16. This was the “15 Days to Flatten the Curve” that turned into two years in many parts of the country.

Her book admits that it was a two-level lie from the beginning.

“We had to make these palatable to the administration by avoiding the obvious appearance of a full Italian lockdown,” she writes. “At the same time, we needed the measures to be effective at slowing the spread, which meant matching as closely as possible what Italy had done—a tall order. We were playing a game of chess in which the success of each move was predicated on the one before it.”

Further:

“At this point, I wasn’t about to use the words lockdown or shutdown. If I had uttered either of those in early March, after being at the White House only one week, the political, nonmedical members of the task force would have dismissed me as too alarmist, too doom-and-gloom, too reliant on feelings and not facts. They would have campaigned to lock me down and shut me up.”

In other words, she wanted to go full CCP just like Italy but didn’t want to say that. Crucially, she knew for sure that two weeks was not the real plan. “I left the rest unstated: that this was just a starting point.”

“No sooner had we convinced the Trump administration to implement our version of a two-week shutdown than I was trying to figure out how to extend it,” she admits.

“Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them. However hard it had been to get the fifteen-day shutdown approved, getting another one would be more difficult by many orders of magnitude. In the meantime, I waited for the blowback, for someone from the economic team to call me to the principal’s office or confront me at a task force meeting. None of this happened.”

It was a solution in search of evidence she did not have. She told Trump that the evidence was there anyway. She actually tricked him into believing that locking down a whole population of people was somehow magically going to make a virus to which everyone would inevitably be exposed somehow vanish as a threat.

Meanwhile, the economy was wrecked domestically and then all over the world, as most governments in the world followed what the US did.

Where did she come up with the idea of lockdowns? By her own report, her only real experience with infectious disease came from her work on AIDS, a very different disease from a respiratory virus that everyone would eventually get but which would only be fatal or even severe for a small cohort, a fact that was known since late January. Still, her experience counted for more than science.

In any health crisis, it is crucial to work at the personal behavior level,” she says with the presumption that avoidance at all costs was the only goal. “With HIV/AIDS, this meant convincing asymptomatic people to get tested, to seek treatment if they were HIV-positive, and to take preventative measures, including wearing condoms; or to employ other pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if they were negative.”

She immediately hops to the analogy with Covid. “I knew the government agencies would need to do the same thing to have a similar effect on the spread of this novel coronavirus. The most obvious parallel with the HIV/AIDS example was the message of wearing masks.”

Masks = condoms. Remarkable. This “obvious parallel” remark sums the whole depth of her thinking. Behavior is all that matters. Just stay apart. Cover your mouth. Don’t gather. Don’t travel. Close the schools. Close everything. Whatever happens, don’t get it. Nothing else matters. Keep your immune system as unexposed as possible.

I wish I could say her thought is more complex than that but it is not. This was the basis for lockdowns. For how long? In her mind, it seems like it would be forever. Nowhere in the book does she reveal an exit strategy. Not even vaccines qualify.

From the very beginning, she revealed her epidemiological views. On March 16, 2020 at her press conference with Trump, she summarized her position: “We really want people to be separated at this time.” People? All people? Everywhere? Not one reporter raised a question about this obviously ridiculous and outrageous statement that would essentially destroy life on earth.

But she was serious – seriously deluded not only about how society functions but also about infectious disease of this sort. Only one thing mattered as a metric to her: reducing infections through any means possible, as if she on her own could cobble together a new kind of society in which exposure to air-born pathogens was made illegal.

Here is an example. There was a controversy about how many people should be allowed to gather in one space, as in home, church, store, stadium, or community center. She addresses how she came up with the rules:

The real problem with this fifty-versus-ten distinction, for me, was that it revealed that the CDC simply didn’t believe to the degree that I did that SARS-CoV-2 was being spread through the air silently and undetected from symptomless individuals. The numbers really did matter. As the years since have confirmed, in times of active viral community spread, as many as fifty people gathered together indoors (unmasked at this point, of course) was way too high a number. It increased the chances of someone among that number being infected exponentially. I had settled on ten knowing that even that was too many, but I figured that ten would at least be palatable for most Americans—high enough to allow for most gatherings of immediate family but not enough for large dinner parties and, critically, large weddings, birthday parties, and other mass social events.

She puts a fine point on it: “if I pushed for zero (which was actually what I wanted and what was required), this would have been interpreted as a ‘lockdown’—the perception we were all working so hard to avoid.”

What does it mean for zero people to gather? A suicide cult?

In any case, just like that, from her own thinking and straight to enforcement, birthday parties, sports, weddings, and funerals came to be forbidden.

Here we gain insight into the sheer insanity of her vision. It is nothing short of a marvel that she somehow managed to gain the amount of influence she did.

Notice her above mention of her dogma that asymptomatic spread was the whole key to understanding pandemic. In other words, on her own and without any scientific support, she presumed that Covid was both extremely fatal and had a long latency period. To her way of thinking, this is why the usual tradeoff between severity and prevalence did not matter.

She was somehow certain that the longest estimates of latency were correct: 14 days. This is the reason for the “wait two weeks” obsession. She held onto this dogma throughout, almost like the fictional movie “Contagion” had been her only guide to understanding.

Later in the book, she writes that symptoms mean next to nothing because people can always carry around the virus in their nose without being sick. After all, this is what PCR tests have shown. Instead of seeing that as a failure of PCR, she saw this as a confirmation that everyone is a carrier no matter what and therefore everyone has to lock down because otherwise we’ll deal with a black plague.

Somehow, despite her astonishing lack of scientific curiosity and experience in this area, she gained all influence over the initial Trump administration response. Briefly, she was godlike.

But Trump was not and is not a fool. He must have had some sleepless nights wondering how and why he had approved the destruction of that which he had seen as his greatest achievement. The virus was long here (probably from October 2019), it presented a specific danger to a narrow cohort, but otherwise behaved like a textbook flu. Maybe, he must have wondered, his initial instincts from January and February 2020 were correct all along.

Still, he very reluctantly approved a 30-day extension of lockdowns, entirely on Birx’s urging and with a few other fools standing around. Having given in a second time – still, no one thought to drop an email or make a phonecall for a second opinion! – this seemed to be the turning point. Birx reports that by April 1, 2020, Trump had lost confidence in her. He might have intuited that he had been tricked. He stopped speaking to her.

It would still take another month before he would fully rethink everything that he had approved at her behest.

It made no difference. The bulk of her book is a brag fest about how she kept subverting the White House’s push to open up the economy – that is, allow people to exercise their rights and freedoms. Once Trump turned against her, and eventually found other people to provide good advice like the tremendously brave Scott Atlas – it was five months later when he arrived in an attempt to save the country from disaster – Birx turned to rallying around her inner circle (Anthony Fauci, Robert Redfield, Matthew Pottinger, and a few others) plus assembling a realm of protection outside of her that included CNN reporter Sanjay Gupta and, very likely, the virus team at the New York Times (which gives her book a glowing review).

Recall that for the remainder of the year, the White House was urging normalcy while many states kept locking down. It was an incredible confusion. The CDC was all over the map. I gained the distinct impression of two separate regimes in charge: Trump’s vs. the administrative state he could not control. Trump would say one thing on the campaign trail but the regulations and disease panic kept pouring out of his own agencies.

Birx admits that she was a major part of the reason, due to her sneaky alternation of weekly reports to the states.

After the heavily edited documents were returned to me, I’d reinsert what they had objected to, but place it in those different locations. I’d also reorder and restructure the bullet points so the most salient—the points the administration objected to most—no longer fell at the start of the bullet points. I shared these strategies with the three members of the data team also writing these reports. Our Saturday and Sunday report-writing routine soon became: write, submit, revise, hide, resubmit. 

Fortunately, this strategic sleight-of-hand worked. That they never seemed to catch this subterfuge left me to conclude that, either they read the finished reports too quickly or they neglected to do the word search that would have revealed the language to which they objected. In slipping these changes past the gatekeepers and continuing to inform the governors of the need for the big-three mitigations—masks, sentinel testing, and limits on indoor social gatherings—I felt confident I was giving the states permission to escalate public health mitigation with the fall and winter coming.

As another example, once Scott Atlas came to the rescue in August to introduce some good sense into this wacky world, he worked with others to dial back the CDC’s fanatical attachment to universal and constant testing. Atlas knew that “track, trace, and isolate” was both a fantasy and a massive invasion of people’s liberties that would yield no positive public-health outcome. He put together a new recommendation that was only for those who were sick to test – just as one might expect in normal life.

After a week-long media frenzy, the regulations flipped in the other direction.

Birx reveals that it was her doing:

This wasn’t the only bit of subterfuge I had to engage in. Immediately after the Atlas-influenced revised CDC testing guidance went up in late August, I contacted Bob Redfield… Less than a week later, Bob [Redfield] and I had finished our rewrite of the guidance and surreptitiously posted it. We had restored the emphasis on testing to detect areas where silent spread was occurring. It was a risky move, and we hoped everyone in the White House would be too busy campaigning to realize what Bob and I had done. We weren’t being transparent with the powers that be in the White House…

One might ask how the heck she got away with this. She explains:

[T]he guidance gambit was only the tip of the iceberg of my transgressions in my effort to subvert Scott Atlas’s dangerous positions. Ever since Vice President Pence told me to do what I needed to do, I’d engaged in very blunt conversations with the governors. I spoke the truth that some White House senior advisors weren’t willing to acknowledge. Censoring my reports and putting up guidance that negated the known solutions was only going to perpetuate Covid-19’s vicious circle. What I couldn’t sneak past the gatekeepers in my reports, I said in person.

Most of the book consists of her explaining how she headed a kind of shadow White House dedicated to keeping the country in some form of lockdown for as long as possible. In her telling, she was the center of everything, the only person truly correct about all things, given cover by the VP and assisted by a handful of co-conspirators.

Largely missing from the narrative is any discussion of the science gathering outside the bubble she so carefully cultivated. Whereas anyone could have noted the studies pouring out from February onward that threw cold water on her entire paradigm – not to mention 15 years, or make that 50 years, or perhaps 100 years of warnings against such a reaction – from scientists all over the world with vastly more experience and knowledge than she. She cared nothing about it, and evidently still does not.

It’s very clear that Birx had almost no contact with any serious scientist who disputed the draconian response, not even John Iaonnidis who explained as early as March 17, 2020, that this approach was madness. But she didn’t care: she was convinced that she was in the right, or, at least, was acting on behalf of people and interests who would keep her safe from persecution or prosecution.

For those interested, Chapter 8 provides a weird look into her first real scientific challenge: the seroprevalence study by Jayanta Bhattacharya published April 22, 2020. It demonstrated that the infection fatality rate – because infections and recovery was far more prevalent than Birx and Fauci were saying – was more in line with what one might expect from a severe flu but with a much more focused demographic impact. Bhattacharya’s paper revealed that the pathogen eluded all controls and would likely become endemic as every respiratory virus before. She took one look and concluded that he had unnamed “fundamental flaws in logic and methodology” and “damaged the cause of public health at this crucial moment in the pandemic.”

And that’s it: that’s Birx grappling with science. Meanwhile, the article was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and has over 700 citations. She saw all differences of opinion as an opportunity to go on the attack in order to intensify her cherished commitment to the lockdown paradigm.

Even now, with scientists the world over in outrage, with citizens furious at their governments, with governments falling, with regimes toppling and anger reaching a fevered pitch, while studies pour out by the day showing that lockdowns made no difference and that open societies at least protected their educational systems and economies, she is unmoved. It’s not even clear she is aware.

Birx dismisses all contrary cases such as Sweden: Americans could not take that route because we are too unhealthy. South Dakota: rural and backwater (Birx is still mad that the brave Governor Kristi Noem refused to meet with her). Florida: oddly and without evidence she dismisses that case as a killing field, even though its results were better than California while the population influx to the state sets new records.

Nor is she shaken by the reality that there is not one single country or territory anywhere on the planet earth that benefitted from her approach, not even her beloved China which still pursues a zero-Covid approach. As for New Zealand and Australia: she (probably wisely) doesn’t mention them at all, even though they followed the Birx approach exactly.

The story of the lockdowns is a tale of Biblical proportions, at once evil and desperately sad and tragic, a story of power, scientific failure, intellectual insularity and insanity, outrageous arrogance, feudalistic impulses, mass delusion, plus political treachery and conspiracy. It is real-life horror for the ages, a tale of how the land of the free became a depostic hellscape so quickly and unexpectedly. Birx was at the center of it, confirming all of your worst fears right here in a book anyone can buy. She is so proud of her role that she dares to take all credit, fully convinced that the Trump-hating media will love and protect her perfidies from exposure and condemnation.

There is no getting around Trump’s own culpability here. He never should have let her have her way. Never. It was a case of fallibility matched by ego (he has still not admitted error), but it is a case of enormous betrayal that played off presidential character flaws (like many in his income class, Trump had always been a germaphobe) that ended up wrecking hope and prosperity for billions of people for many years to come.

I’ve tried for two years to put myself in that scene at the White House that day. It’s a hothouse with only trusted souls in small rooms, and the people there in a crisis have the sense that they are running the world. Trump might have drawn on his experience running a casino in Atlantic City. The weather forecasters come to say a hurricane is on the way, so he needs to shut it down. He doesn’t want to but agrees in order to do the right thing.

Was this his thinking? Perhaps. Perhaps too someone told him that China’s President Xi Jinping managed to crush the virus with lockdowns so he can too, just as the WHO said in its February 26 report. It’s also difficult in that environment to avoid the rush of omnipotence, temporarily oblivious to the reality that your decision would affect life from Maine to Florida to California. It was a catastrophic and lawless decision based on pretense and folly.

What followed seems inevitable in retrospect. The economic crisis, inflation, the broken lives, the desperation, the lost rights and lost hopes, and now the growing hunger and demoralization and educational losses and cultural destruction, all of it came in the wake of these fateful days. Every day in this country, even two and a half years later, judges are struggling to regain control and revitalize the Constitution after this disaster.

The plotters usually admit it in the end, taking credit, like criminals who cannot resist returning to the scene of the crime. This is what Dr. Birx has done in her book. But there are clearly limits to her transparency. She never explains the real reason for her resignation – even though it is known the world over – pretending like the entire Thanksgiving fiasco never happened and thus attempting to write it out of the history book that she wrote.

There is so much more to say and I hope this is one review of many because the book is absolutely packed with shocking passages. And yet her 525-page book, now selling at a 50% discount, does not contain a single citation to a single scientific study, paper, monograph, article, or book. It has zero footnotes. It offers no go-to authorities and displays not even a hint of humility that would normally be part of any actual scientific account.

And it nowhere offers an honest reckoning for what her influence over the White House and the states foisted on this country and on the world. As the country masks up yet again for a new variant, and is gradually being groomed for another round of disease panic, she can collect whatever royalties come from sales of her book while working at her new gig, a consultant to a company that makes air purifiers (ActivePure). In this latter role, she makes a greater contribution to public health than anything she did while she held the reins of power.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

MALONE, URSO, KORY: “STOP VACCINATING”

The High Wire | July 15, 2022

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment