Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Another Leftist Myth Debunked: Stats Show More COVID Deaths on Biden's Watch Than Trump's

Biden’s bid for the presidency was focused largely on his promise to effectively fight the spread of the virus. Despite the fact that he had vaccines, therapeutics and mandates at his disposal, he has failed to deliver.

The fact is that 372,000 Americans have died from COVID during Biden’s presidency while 352,000 died during Trump’s. The numbers come from John’s Hopkins University, as reported by host Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Some say they doubt the validity of the numbers. Who can blame them? Everything can be doubted in a world where all is relative and facts are what you make of them. Confusion is the new plague.

It’s also a fact that the virus was just amping up when Trump was in office. It should be noted that Trump’s total was from a 10-month period and Biden surpassed that total in just 8 months.

Trump took on the virus with a fighting spirit and masks. Biden had a toolbox full of options and didn’t manage to make a dent.

Biden has to come to terms with the facts. Instead, Democrats are using the emergence of the delta variant to explain away their numbers. There is truth to this assertion, but only if you add the fact that the Biden administration catalyzed vaccine hesitancy with horrendous messaging.

Officials with the Coronavirus Research Center recently observed that “vaccine hesitancy continues and testing has lagged.”

“So I would say the simple strategies are, first, to listen to what the concerns are and try as best as possible to understand them,” Dr. Bill Moss, the center’s vaccinology lead, said, according to the Washington Times.

“If it’s due to misinformation or disinformation, having the right messenger convey that information to the target audience is really critical, and that’s a person who the community or individual trusts, whether that’s a religious leader or a celebrity or sports figure.”

Biden and company are clearly not the “right messenger.” Too many people simply do not trust the administration.

COVID vaccines, instead of being a reasonable option for American citizens, are now divisive. The unvaccinated beware: Biden’s “patience is wearing thin.” The unvaccinated are being treated as enemies of the state.

Reasonable people have legitimate concerns about taking the vaccine, largely due to Biden’s misinformation about everything from Facebook “killing people” to red-state election laws being the new Jim Crow.

The administration has downplayed the effectiveness of natural immunity. They have also encouraged Big Tech to silence discourse around the vaccine.

Instead of treating reasonable people like deplorable idiots, it might help to treat them as citizens and address their concerns with understanding instead of malice.

Faith alone won’t work when it comes to COVID vaccines. People will need to be convinced through reason before they decide whether or not to take that leap.

The Biden administration chose to run the country’s COVID response much differently than Trump. They now have to own the 372,000 deaths. Mr. President, please stop blaming your mistakes on the citizens of the United States.


Former CDC Director Gives Disturbing Statistic on Fully Vaccinated COVID Deaths

Deaths were rare but 40 percent of people who did die in Maryland were fully vaccinated

Speaking during an interview with Fox News Monday afternoon, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said that more than 40 percent of people who have recently died from the coronavirus in Maryland were fully vaccinated.

"A lot of times people may feel it's a rare event that fully vaccinated people die. I happen to be the senior advisor to Governor Hogan in the state of Maryland. In the last 6-8 weeks, more than 40 percent of people who died in Maryland were fully vaccinated," Redfield said, responding to the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

At the time of his death from virus complications, Powell was also fighting a blood cancer that lowers the ability to stave off infection. According to the Maryland Department of Health, 65.7 percent of adults in the state are fully vaccinated.

Redfield served as CDC director under President Donald Trump and currently works as an advisor for Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan.


The likelihood of catching Covid-19 if you’re fully vaccinated

The Australian data

Covid-19 has a mortality rate of 1.06 per cent in Australia. Around 1,400 Aussies are currently in hospital with the virus, including 288 people in Intensive Care Units across the country.

The Health Minister said getting the jab would diminish most people’s risk of being hospitalised with Covid-19 to almost nothing. “We do know that what vaccination does is it reduces significantly your risk of getting the disease, but it doesn't prevent it,” Mr Hunt said.

“In the best case study, 47,000 people in NSW and the ACT between the ages of 16, and I believe 65, have been diagnosed. Of those, only four per cent have been fully vaccinated.”

And even if you catch Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated, Mr Hunt says the chance of becoming seriously ill is still very low for Australians who are double-dosed.

“It reduces very significantly your risk of serious illness or hospitalisation,” the Health Minister said.

Of the 47,000-person case study in NSW and the ACT, Mr Hunt said only one per cent of positive cases who died from the virus were fully vaccinated.

Australia’s Intensive care units reflect a similar trend. According to NSW Health, less than 2 per cent of people admitted to intensive care in NSW in the first 11 weeks of the state’s most recent outbreak were fully vaccinated.

Of the 4654 people hospitalised with Covid-19 over that period, just three per cent were double-dosed.

Eighteen per cent of hospitalisations were partially vaccinated, and the remaining 79 per cent were either unvaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown.


GOP Reps Introduce Bill Requiring Federal Agencies to Recognize Natural Immunity Against COVID-19

On Monday, Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) introduced a bill requiring federal agencies to take into account naturally acquired immunity from a previous Wuhan coronavirus infection when issuing any measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

The bill, titled the “Natural Immunity is Real Act” states that agencies are to “truthfully present, and incorporate, the consideration of natural immunity as it pertains to COVID-19” and that nothing in the Act “shall be construed to allow for, or authorize, a Federal vaccination mandate.”

As we’ve previously covered, last month, President Biden announced new COVID-19 vaccine mandates that would require all federal workers to be vaccinated and require employers with over 100 workers to require the vaccine or be subject to regular testing. Shortly after, the Biden administration began pushing a booster shot campaign.

“[T]he Biden Administration must ‘follow the science’ and be open, honest and transparent about the millions of Americans who have natural immunity against the COVID-19 virus,” Harshbarger said in a press release. “[M]y bill is a necessary and timely legislative action resulting from President Biden’s continued politicization of COVID-19 which continues to create deep divisions among Americans, such as when he chillingly said his national vaccine mandate requirements are ‘not about freedom or personal choice.’

Now more than ever, we need to pursue every scientific measure — such as natural immunity — that can help mitigate the pandemic without threatening people’s jobs, our economy, or denying Americans access to everyday life activities based on COVID-19 vaccination status.”

“We are over a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has failed to recognize the effectiveness of natural immunity,” Van Drew said in the press release. “We know vaccines work, but natural immunity could be equally or similarly as effective in certain individuals. If the CDC would devote time into its research, we would have robust, evidence-based research that could help America finally move on from this virus.”



State Department IG to probe Biden administration’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal (Fox News)

“I will share my thoughts in the coming days and weeks”: Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan steps down (Washington Examiner)

Midnight runs: Biden secretly flying underage migrants into New York in the dead of night (New York Post)

Haiti kidnappers demand $17 million ransom for missionaries (BBC News)

The writing is on the wall: House Democrat retirement rush continues with two new departures (Politico)

Supreme Court protects cops from lawsuits in two qualified immunity cases (Fox News)

China’s GDP slows to disappointing 4.9% in third quarter (The Hill)

U.S. careening into another recession as worried consumers flash warning signs (New York Post)

LA ports a ghost town much of the weekend despite President Biden’s goal to move cargo (Washington Examiner)

Climate backfire: Coal-fired power jumps as natural gas prices soar (Washington Times)

City leaders, police departments push back over impending COVID vaccine mandates (USA Today)

Nick Rolovich fired as Washington State football coach after refusing COVID vaccine (The Oregonian)

Jury selection moving slowly in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial (AP)

Ten absurdly wasteful items tucked into the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend monstrosity (Daily Signal)

DOJ ignores Washington Post-prompted death threats against Waukesha, Wisconsin, school board member (The Federalist)

Silent disgrace: Where is the national media on abandoned Americans in Afghanistan? (Hot Air)




Tuesday, October 19, 2021

FDA Panel Unanimously Recommends Authorization of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

Moderna officials presented data from clinical trials, including a small trial that studied the safety and effectiveness of a booster shot, as did officials from Israel, one of the first countries in the world to start giving booster shots, and the FDA, which performed an analysis of Moderna’s data but didn’t support or oppose the company’s application for an emergency use authorization expansion.

The FDA can overrule the panel’s recommendations but rarely does so. If the recommendation is approved, anyone aged 65 and older will be able to get a Moderna booster shot if they’ve received the primary two doses of the Moderna series. People between the ages of 18 and 64 who are deemed “at high risk of severe COVID-19” or whose “frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19” will also have access to the booster shot.

The boosters would be a 50 microgram dose for people at least six months after they’ve received their second dose, which is itself typically administered one month after the initial dose. The primary two-dose series is 100 micrograms each.

Moderna said its small trial, consisting of just 171 people who got the regular primary series and a half-dose booster, showed a smaller amount could still bolster protection against CCP virus infection.

Officials discussed how data from other trials signal that the vaccine is still holding up well against severe disease, but that there’s been plummeting effectiveness against infection, particularly after the Delta variant became dominant in the United States.

Some panel members struck a skeptical tone on widespread boosters, pointing to the small number of people who got another shot and were studied and highlighting how some populations, including young, healthy people, don’t seem to need another shot.

“I’m not wild about a bunch of 20-year-olds going out and getting a booster dose, unless they’re at increased risk of either exposure or severe outcome,” Dr. Mark Sawyer, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California–San Diego School of Medicine and a temporary panel voting member, said before the vote.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel will ultimately make the decision on who should get a Moderna booster, Sawyer said, though it’s in danger of being overruled by the agency’s head, as happened with Pfizer’s additional shot.

There was discussion about amending the third piece of the recommendation, but a number of members brushed aside the talk, in part because of a desire to match the recommendation the same panel gave for a booster for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in September. No one dissented.

“We already approved it for Pfizer. I don’t see how we can possibly not approve it for Moderna and not have most U.S. folks be completely confused. I know that’s not part of what we’re supposed to think about, but I think it’s a pragmatic issue,” said Dr. Stanley Perlman, a temporary voting member and a professor in the University of Iowa’s Departments of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Cody Meissner, a professor of pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine and a panel member, twice asked for evidence that people can be at high risk for serious complications based on their work. Dr. Doran Fink, an FDA official, said there was no “specific data,” but that there’s concern about so-called long COVID, or alleged problems that stem from COVID-19 and are seen even after somebody stops testing positive for the disease.

Meissner endorsed the recommendations, but warned the panel against voting for evidence-free language. “If we can’t defend these recommendations based on evidence, it’s going to further complicate getting this vaccine into every single adult American, and that’s really what we want to do,” Meissner said.

Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College and a temporary voting member (pdf), challenged Meissner, saying that the only evidence he needed for the occupational risk advice was that minorities are more likely to have underlying conditions, putting them at higher risk of severe cases of COVID-19.

Perlman said the piece was important because the United States can’t afford to have health care workers test positive for COVID-19, because that means they’ll have to miss work, even if they’re not showing symptoms.

Many spoke in favor of advising the FDA to widen the emergency use authorization again, after previously allowing people with weak immune systems to get a third dose of the vaccine. They said the fact that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are similar means that data regarding Pfizer booster shots, including virtually all the information from Israel, informed their decision, as did the millions of Americans who have already gotten the third shot. “We need boosters in some populations,” Sawyer said.

Dr. Patrick Moore, a temporary voting member and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said his vote was based on “more of a gut feeling” than serious data.

“The data itself is not strong but it is certainly going in a direction that is supportable of this vote,” Moore said.


Is America Repeating Cultural Split Between Rome and Byzantium?

In A.D. 286, the Roman emperor Diocletian split in half the huge Roman Empire administratively—and peacefully—under the control of two emperors.

A Western empire included much of modern-day Western Europe and northwest Africa. The Eastern half controlled Eastern Europe and parts of Asia and northeastern Africa.

By 330, the Emperor Constantine institutionalized that split by moving the empire’s capital from Rome to his new imperial city of Constantinople, founded on the site of the old Greek polis of Byzantium.

The two administrative halves of the once huge empire continued to drift apart. Soon there arose two increasingly different, though still kindred versions, of a once unified Romanity.

The Western empire eventually collapsed into chaos by the latter fifth century A.D.

Yet the Roman eastern half survived for nearly 1,000 years. It was soon known as the Byzantine Empire, until overwhelmed by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D.

Historians still disagree over why the East endured while the West crumbled. And they cite the various roles of differing geography, border challenges, tribal enemies, and internal challenges.

We moderns certainly have developed unfair stereotypes of a supposedly decadent late imperial Rome of Hollywood sensationalism that deserved its end. And we likewise mistakenly typecast a rigid, ultra-orthodox bureaucratic “Byzantine” alternative that supposedly grew more reactionary to survive in a rough neighborhood.

Yet in both cases, separate geography multiplied the growing differences between a Greek-speaking, Orthodox Christian and older civilization in the East, versus a more or less polyglot and often fractious Christianity in the Latin West.

Byzantium held firm against ancient neighboring Persian, Middle Eastern, and Egyptian rivals. But the West disintegrated into a tribal amalgam of its own former peoples.

Unlike in the West, the glue that held the East together against centuries of foreign enemies was the revered idea of an ancient and uncompromising Hellenism—the preservation of a common, holistic Greek language, religion, culture, and history.

By A.D. 600, at a time when the West had long ago fragmented into tribes and proto-European kingdoms, the jewel at Constantinople was the nerve center of the most impressive civilization in the world, stretching from the Eastern Asia Minor to southern Italy.

There is now much talk of a new American red state/blue state split—and even wild threats of another civil war. Certainly, millions of Americans yearly self-select, disengage from their political opposites, and make moves based on diverging ideology, culture, politics, religiosity or lack of it, and differing views of the American past.

More conservative traditionalists head for the interior between the coasts, where there is usually smaller government, fewer taxes, more religiosity, and unapologetic traditionalists.

These modern Byzantines are more apt to define their patriotism by honoring ancient customs and rituals—standing for the national anthem, attending church services on Sundays, demonstrating reverence for American history and its heroes, and emphasizing the nuclear family.

Immigration in fly-over country is still defined as melting pot assimilation and integration of new arrivals into the body politic of a hallowed and enduring America.

While red states welcome change, they believe America never had to be perfect to be good. It will always survive, but only if it sticks to its 234-year-old Constitution, stays united by the English language, and assimilates newcomers into an enduring and exceptional American culture.

In contrast, the more liberal blue state antithesis is richer from globalist wealth. The West Coast, from Seattle to San Diego, profits from trade with a thriving Asia. It is bookended by the East Coast window on the European Union from Boston to Miami.

The great research universities of the Ivy League—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech, Stanford, and the University of California System—are bicoastal. Just as Rome was once the iconic center of the entire Roman project, so blue Washington, D.C., is the nerve center for big-government America.

The salad bowl is the bicoastal model for immigration. Newcomers can retain and reboot their former cultural identities.

Religion is less orthodox; atheism and agnosticism are almost the norm. And most of the recent social movements of American feminism, transgenderism, and critical race theory grew out of coastal urbanity and academia.

Foreigners see blue coastal Americans as the more vibrant, sophisticated, cosmopolitan—and reckless—culture, its vast wealth predicated on technology, information, communications, finance, media, education, and entertainment.

In turn, they concede that the vast red interior—with about the same population as blue America but with vastly greater area—is the more pragmatic, predictable, and home to the food, fuels, ores, and material production of America.

Our Byzantine interior and Roman coasts are quite differently interpreting their shared American heritage as they increasingly plot radically divergent courses to survive in scary times.

But as in the past, it is far more likely that one state model will prove unsustainable and collapse than it is that either region would ever start a civil war.




Monday, October 18, 2021

Should you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?

Can someone get their initial COVID-19 vaccine from one manufacturer and then get a booster from another? The question has intrigued medical professionals since before the first shot went into an arm—and it’s far more than an academic issue. Allowing people to mix and match COVID-19 shots could significantly improve vaccine distribution and may even offer some medical benefits.

This afternoon an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will review data from a recent National Institutes of Health study that seeks to answer the question. The preliminary results of this very small study hint that the answer may be yes.

If the FDA eventually endorses mixing brands, the decision could help nationwide vaccination efforts, says Pedro Piedra, professor of molecular virology, microbiology, and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “At any time, a pharmaceutical company can have a manufacturing issue, whether that’s a contamination problem or a shortage of a reagent, so it’s helpful to have options,” he says.

Doctors and pharmacists would also benefit, says Robert M. Jacobson, medical director of the primary care immunization program at the Mayo Clinic. “Practitioners could just pick one brand to carry and know they could give that to anyone in the middle of their vaccine series, rather than have to turn some patients away,” he says. This would reduce waste, because more people could be inoculated from each open vial, he notes.

Globally, scientific support for mixing vaccines would be an especially big benefit for low-income countries, many of which don’t have national stockpiles. They’d be able to use whatever shots they receive from aid groups or donations at a given time. That’s particularly important when just 2.5 percent of people in these countries have received even one jab.

Extensive mixing data from England

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. conducted some of the earliest research on mixing COVID-19 vaccines in studies conceived in late 2020, before any vaccines were authorized in that country. Known as the Com-COV study, for Comparing COVID-19 vaccine schedule combinations, the team initially looked at mixing and matching the vaccines made by AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer-BioNTech. (Find out how the different COVID-19 vaccines work in our vaccine tracker.)

“The initial thinking was really about the roll-out: What if there was a problem with the supply of one vaccine, or if there was a safety signal with it, or if a person turned up and you didn’t know which vaccine they’d had before,” says Matthew Snape, an Oxford vaccinologist and the chief investigator on the Com-COV trials.

But interest quickly shifted to whether such mixing, known in medicine as a heterologous vaccination schedule, could offer immunological advantages. When the researchers gave 830 people either a double dose of the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines four weeks apart, or a mix of each, all achieved an immune response above the threshold indicating good protection.

The strongest response occurred in people who first got the AstraZeneca shot followed by Pfizer. The levels of antibodies (indicating the body’s ability to fight the coronavirus) and T-cells (responsible for limiting internal spread of the disease) rose highest under this combination. Which of these two immune reactions is most important isn’t yet known, Snape says. Researchers are also still investigating whether the advantage holds months after the shots; new blood samples taken six months after the initial doses are currently being studied, he says.

Mixing vaccines did lead to slightly more adverse reactions in this research, but all the reported side effects were no worse than bothersome headaches, fevers, and chills that dissipated within days. No combinations raised safety concerns.

“These results created a lot of chatter,” says Waleed Javaid, an epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York City. But without longer-term data, they don’t confirm that the combination is worth doing, he says.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized in the U.S., but many experts compare the shot with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because both use the same type of delivery system, known as a viral vector. In both vaccines, an adenovirus like the ones that cause the common cold delivers a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic code into the body, triggering an immune response.

However, the AstraZeneca is made from a chimpanzee adenovirus, while the J&J shot uses a human version. That means the two vaccines are distinct enough that you can’t apply study results from one to the other, says Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“Heterologous vaccinations schedules might offer advantages, because each vaccine brings different features to the table. But every combination must be specifically studied for safety and immunogenicity,” Barouch says.

In recent months, Oxford has added Moderna and Novavax, another type of vaccine not authorized in the U.S., into its research mix. It expects to present results from the combinations of these four vaccines later this month, Snape says.

What the NIH found out about mixing

The NIH embarked on its own mix-and-match research in June, and the interim preliminary results were released online Wednesday. They are now under review by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

The scientists recruited some 450 people who had received a full series of any of the three vaccines authorized in the U.S. At least three months later these people received a booster shot, either of the same brand or a different one. When the NIH team checked the participants’ blood for antibody levels 15 days after the booster, mixing was shown to enhance the shots’ effects, especially for those whose first inoculation was with the J&J jab.

The roughly 50 people who boosted their J&J shot with Moderna saw their antibody levels rise 76-fold, compared to just 4-fold in those getting another J&J vaccine. A Pfizer booster gave this group a 35-fold increase in antibodies.

Switching from one mRNA shot to another was less dramatic. Pfizer-Moderna recipients saw a 32-fold boost, while Pfizer-Pfizer’s was 20-fold. The Moderna-Pfizer combination turned out to be largely similar to Moderna-Moderna’s. And no mRNA recipient got a larger increase with a J&J booster compared to one from their original shot type.

If the final results of this study, along with others in process worldwide, continue to find advantages, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) might ultimately green-light a mix-and-match protocol. But it has not done so at this time.

The only combination protocol authorized in the U.S. is for immunocompromised people getting a third mRNA shot to enhance their generally weak response to the first two. The CDC recommends using the same brand throughout, but if that is unavailable, it says a different mRNA vaccine can be used.

Why only some vaccines are interchangeable

Historically, combining vaccine doses from different manufacturers has rarely been authorized for other diseases, Jacobson points out. This is due to the way vaccine research is financed in this country, he says. Before any product is authorized, its manufacturer must pay hefty sums to conduct sufficiently large studies proving their vaccine is safe and effective. They must also convince the FDA that they are able to manufacture every dose going forward to the exact same specifications as were used in its clinical trials.

“A manufacturer is not going to also put money into seeing whether its product mixes with other brands. There is no financial benefit for them to do that,” Jacobson says.

Independent scientists sometimes perform this research on their own and present the data to ACIP. Based on this independent data, for instance, the committee has agreed that children under age nine getting their first-ever flu shot, which requires two doses, can safely receive any two of the nearly one dozen products available, Jacobson says. People can similarly swap brands for subsequent doses of Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B vaccines.

“Decades of research has shown that, in general, if antigens are generated by a vaccine in similar fashion, you can mix and match. But there are some huge exceptions,” Jacobson says. For instance, mixing among meningococcal B manufacturers is not allowed. “If the provider can’t get the boost in the same brand as the original shot, you have to start the whole series over,” he says.

Some countries have already decided that certain recipients can receive a different second COVID-19 shot. When a rare blood clotting disorder appeared in a small number of younger recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, some governments were hesitant to insist that everyone who’d gotten the first shot continue with the second.

“This is exactly what we anticipated in wanting to generate data,” Snape says of the Com-COV studies. Canada’s policy allows people who received a first AstraZeneca dose to finish the series with an mRNA vaccine if they prefer.

Should you try to mix and match?

With the fragmented healthcare system in the U.S., it’s possible that some people here have gotten a second or third dose of a different vaccine through less than legitimate means. You probably know someone who has done this, perhaps swayed by data showing stronger protection for some vaccines or annoyed that boosters for the Moderna and J&J vaccines are not yet approved.

Even though the preliminary NIH results show some advantage, the number of people tested was small. And while no serious adverse events occurred, uncommon reactions wouldn’t be discovered until tens of thousands or more recipients get the combination, Piedra says. It also remains to be seen whether the changes in the immune system seen 15 days after the vaccine ultimately translate into disease protection.

Plus, if you choose your own unauthorized booster shot, what happens if later research proves a different combination is better? That’s why experts say it’s a bad idea to become your own vaccine advisory committee and get a shot out of turn. “Deciding whether to mix,” Javaid says, “should be done in a safe and scientific matter rather than randomly.”



Associate reportedly shuffled money between Joe and Hunter Biden accounts; president potential target of FBI investigation (Daily Wire)

Andrew McCabe, disgraced FBI official fired by Trump administration, gets pension restored (Fox News)

Chuck Schumer plans vote on phone election bill compromise next week (NBC News)

Democrats flip-flop on contempt, seeking it for Steven Bannon after opposing it for Eric Holder (Just the News)

Nearly half of the Taliban government’s leaders are designated terrorists (Free Beacon)

Cold hard malaise: Winter heating bills set to sharply jump as inflation hits home (AP)

U.S. wholesale prices rose record 8.6% over 12 months (AP)

Biden pushing vaccines for small kids (Daily Wire)

Judge sides with New York healthcare workers seeking religious exemption to vax mandate (Spectrum News)

Judge blocks United Airlines from suspending employees over vax mandate (Washington Examiner)

“Hold the line”: Chicago police union president tells officers to resist city vax requirement (Daily Wire)

Nursing schools see applications rise despite COVID burnout (AP)

Family of alleged rape victim in Loudoun County to sue school district (Daily Wire)

Systemic injustice: Loudoun Schools did not record multiple alleged sexual assaults over a period of years (Daily Wire)

Appeals court keeps Texas pro-life law in place (AP)

Democrat LA City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas indicted on federal corruption charges (Los Angeles Daily News)

Southlake, Texas, school leader tells teachers to balance Holocaust books with “opposing” views (NBC News)

Walmart CRT training encourages employees to accept that “white is not right” (National Review)

Walgreens closes five more San Francisco stores over rampant theft (Washington Examiner)

D'oh! Biden Supreme Court commission opposes adding justices (Fox News)




Sunday, October 17, 2021

Johns Hopkins Doc Says Natural Immunity 27 Times More Effective Than Vaccine

“Nurses, who are heroes, are now getting laid off. Soldiers are getting dishonorably discharged. They’ve got immunity. It’s just not the type that our public health officials have sanctioned.”

The Biden administration’s refusal to acknowledge the relevance of natural immunity in the fight against COVID-19 has become glaring.

The administration that constantly insists they are following the science is actually engaging in willful blindness.

Hell-bent on enforcing their COVID vaccine mandate, they deliberately ignore every scientific study that finds natural immunity to be superior to vaccine immunity.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary appeared as a guest on Thursday’s edition of “Morning Wire,” a podcast hosted by The Daily Wire.

“The data on natural immunity are now overwhelming,” Makary told the Morning Wire. “It turns out the hypothesis that our public health leaders had that vaccinated immunity is better and stronger than natural immunity was wrong. They got it backwards. And now we’ve got data from Israel showing that natural immunity is 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity. And that supports 15 other studies.”

Despised by the left for his criticism of the vaccine mandate, Makary finds it bizarre that natural immunity is not seen as legitimate in the eyes of the U.S. government.

“It’s ruining the lives of people who are getting fired,” he said. “Nurses, who are heroes, are now getting laid off. Soldiers are getting dishonorably discharged. They’ve got immunity. It’s just not the type that our public health officials have sanctioned.”

“This is a failure of government, not a failure of science,” he declared. “But how about some flexibility? How about recognizing natural immunity and allowing those who have circulating antibodies to get credit? That’s how they do it in parts of Europe, and that’s how they do it in Israel.”

Makary said the recent drop-off in COVID cases can be attributed to both the tens of millions of Americans who have already had the virus and those who have been vaccinated.

The government refuses to acknowledge that the natural immunity acquired from having had COVID has played any role at all in moving us closer and faster to the desired goal of herd immunity. Makary is essentially saying natural immunity has played an enormous role.

This point is compelling and has been underreported.

“That decline [in new cases of COVID] is really natural immunity kicking in,” Makary explained. “What we’re seeing is that when a very few people in a population are susceptible, that is almost everybody has either had COVID or the vaccine. You do see this rapid decline. It’s basically a part of herd immunity kicking in.”

He believes “we’re done with the surges. What we may see is bumping cases, seasonally, depending on pockets of the country where there’s low immunity rates. And remember: breakthrough infections are real. They will happen, but they have downgraded COVID from a major public health threat to a mild, common, cold-like illness.”

Makary feels that the vaccines are safe and that complications are “exceedingly rare.” I know a few people who might disagree with that assessment.

At any rate, Makary told the Morning Wire, “When I talked to doctors nationwide, it’s pretty clear that the vaccine-related complications are exceedingly rare and the vaccines we have are safer than any other vaccine we’ve ever had in the past. And I think if you if you’re on the fence about getting vaccinated, you want to do it right now, like today, because we are getting to a point where it’s so contagious, it’s ripping through the population pretty quickly.”

The consequences of the government’s rejection of natural immunity as a valid reason to skip the vaccine have become apparent throughout the country, particularly in the health care industry and at all levels of law enforcement.

Democrats pushing Biden’s misguided blanket vaccine mandate all parrot the same old tired line: “We follow the science.” That’s nonsense. It has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics — the politics of power and control.

In a September Op-Ed published in The Washington Post, Makary wrote, “It’s okay to have an incorrect scientific hypothesis. But when new data proves it wrong, you have to adapt. Unfortunately, many elected leaders and public health officials have held on far too long to the hypothesis that natural immunity offers unreliable protection against COVID-19 — a contention that is being rapidly debunked by science.”

Makary argued that over 15 studies have confirmed the power of natural immunity. He cited the recent 700,000-person Israeli study which found that those who had recovered from COVID “were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic COVID infection than those who were vaccinated.”

The results of the Israeli study, Makary wrote, confirmed the findings of a Cleveland Clinic study released in June. None of the health care workers who had previously contracted the virus were reinfected. The research team concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.”

And the Cleveland Clinic’s results, he noted, affirmed the conclusions of a Washington University study conducted in May, which “found that even a mild COVID infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.”

Maybe it’s time for the Biden administration to take politics out of it and actually look at the science.


Immune response from Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines spikes and then drops while antibody levels after J&J's shot remain low but stable, study finds

The immune response from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines spikes and then drops drastically while the response from the Johnson & Johnson shot remains low but stable, a new study finds.

Researchers compared blood samples from a few dozen people fully vaccinated with one of three shots available in the U.S.

Findings - published in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on J&J boosters on Friday - showed antibody levels among people who got the Pfizer and Moderna were initially 12 times to 40 times higher than the J&J shot.

However, eight months later, the levels of the two-dose vaccines waned while those of the J&J vaccine 'remained relatively stable.'

The findings may throw a wrench in the advisory committee's discussions with some experts saying the results appear to suggest that a booster shot isn't needed after all.

For the study, researchers looked at 61 people at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston who were fully vaccinated.

Of the participants, 31 patients received the Pfizer vaccine, 22 received the Moderna vaccine and eight received the J&J vaccine.

Blood samples were taken between two to four weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or after the one J&J dose, six months later and then eight months later.

Neutralizing antibody levels were measured in ID50, or the number of antibodies produced to prevent infection in 50 percent of normal adult humans exposed

Results showed that the median level for Pfizer was 1,789 ID50 and for Moderna was 5,848 ID50.

However, by eight months, the levels substantially declined to 53 ID50 in Pfizer, or a 34-fold drop, and to 133 ID50 in Moderna, or a 44-fold drop.

Comparatively, two to four weeks after the one-dose vaccine, median antibody levels for J&J were 146 ID50, lower than the other two vaccines.

This number then jumped to 629 ID50 eight months later.

'I think the data should be reassuring for people who received the J&J vaccine, that immune responses are stable over time,' study co-author Dr Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told The Boston Globe.

'After about eight months, the antibody responses are relatively similar among the three vaccines.'

This difference may be attributed to the fact that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

The technology works by using part of Covid's genetic code to trick the body into producing a harmless piece of the virus.

This gets the body to recognize the invader and mount an immune response by making customized proteins that are ready to attack if a person becomes infected.

But J&J's immunization is what is known as a viral vector vaccine, which combined genetic material from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus -which causes the common cold - to induce an immune response.

The study also looked at levels of T-cells, which are a type of white blood cell that binds to and kills viruses, and found they were stable over eight months for all three vaccines.

Despite the findings that antibody levels for J&J's vaccine are steady, Barouch told The Globe that the firm still wants the FDA to authorize a booster dose.

'Although protection is maintained over time with a one-dose vaccine, it is not in the 90 percent range. It is in the 70 to 80 percent range,' he said during the meeting.

'A booster could bump efficacy to a level that is substantially higher.'




Friday, October 15, 2021

‘Highly potent’ Covid antibody may be a new weapon in the battle against the virus

Scientists say they have discovered a “highly potent” Covid-19 antibody that “neutralises” variants of the virus, including the deadly Delta strain.

The UK‘s Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries this week said the dominance of the Delta variant globally has seen other coronavirus variants “become extinct”, but warned we still need to “stay alert”.

Now it looks like science may have discovered a new weapon in the battle against the virulent variant.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), who made the breakthrough, said the antibody “is one of the most powerful” identified so far against SARS-CoV-2.

“Scientists at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and EPFL have discovered a highly potent monoclonal antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and is effective at neutralising all variants of concern identified to date, including the delta variant,” EPFL said in a statement.

“The newly identified antibody was isolated using lymphocytes from COVID-19 patients enrolled in the ImmunoCoV study being carried out by CHUV’s Service of Immunology and Allergy.

“The antibody blocks the spike protein from binding to cells expressing the ACE2 receptor, which is the receptor the virus uses to enter and infect lung cells.

“That means the antibody halts the viral replication process, enabling a patient’s immune system to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from the body.

The EPFL added that the new antibody is designed to have a lasting effect in humans.

“A typical unaltered antibody provides protection for up to three to four weeks,” they said. “But this new one can protect patients for four–six months,” they said.

Meanwhile, US pharmaceutical giant Merck has applied for emergency use authorisation of its oral anti-Covid drug in the United States, a major step towards finding a simple pill to treat the disease.

On Monday local time, Merck submitted the application for molnupiravir, which it said earlier this month was shown to reduce hospitalisation by 50 per cent.


Top British doctor issues horror winter Covid warning as cases sky-rocket to three-month high

BRITAIN has been warned the NHS is facing an "exceptionally difficult" winter and an equally bleak Christmas as Covid cases spike to a three-month high - with chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty admitting the idea of a virus-free end to 2021 was "an impossible dream".

Speaking to delegates at the annual conference of the Royal College of GPs in Liverpool, Prof Whitty said: "In terms of where Covid will go over the winter, well I think the winter as a whole, I regret to say, is going to be exceptionally difficult for the NHS. "That is, irrespective of whether we have a relatively low but non-trivial amount of Covid, or whether we actually have a further surge in the winter.”

Prof Whitty, who was speaking a day after the UK recorded 42,776 new infections – a three month high and seven per cent increase compared with last week - added: "I think if you asked 100 modellers you're going to get over 100 answers, exactly as to how this is going to go out.

"I think what we're confident of is the very top end, what we would have faced potentially had things gone wrong last winter is not going to happen, barring an extraordinary escape mutant variant, but let's assume we don't get something which actually can basically evade our defences completely, I think the top end risks are much lower.

"But we could certainly go up, we're only two to three doubling times away from a really quite serious pressure on the NHS and it's already serious, but one that actually will be very difficult to deal with. "So the margin of error is quite small."

He warned of tough months ahead for the health service as it battles COVID-19, flu, other viruses and the usual winter problems such as trips and falls.

However, he praised GPs - who are currently under fire over face-to-face appointments - for all their "outstanding" hard work and professionalism over the last two years.

Regarding flu, he said there was a lot of debate over whether there could be low levels as people are still not mixing as much, or whether a lack of natural immunity could lead to "a really serious spike", with the possibility the flu vaccine is not very well matched to the strain that affects the UK.


The Three Words That Could Describe the Ashli Babbitt Shooting

It wasn’t our best day as a nation. It also wasn’t the worst. We have clowns in the liberal press saying that the January 6 riot was worse than the 9/11 attacks. We have comparisons that this was worse than the American Civil War. False on all accounts, but they need to exaggerate this incident because they want to ensnare Donald Trump again.

If this was such a horrific event, why haven’t they released the hours of security camera footage? It’s possibly because it’s boring as hell—just hundreds of people walking around the US Capitol. These people didn’t murder anyone as well. No cops were killed. Officer Brian Sicknick, who the liberal media tried to weaponize against conservatives, died of natural causes. The only person who was killed inside the Capitol building was Ashli Babbitt who was shot by police.

This has been a topic of discussion for some, as people wondered if the use of force was necessary. Look, in this situation, everyone inside should have known that these situations could turn deadly. That’s not to say she deserved it, and new documents from Judicial Watch further feeds the narrative that this was a cover-up. Tom Fitton added that the documents reveal Babbitt was shot for “no good reason” (via Fox News):

More than 500 pages of internal documents from DC Metropolitan Police concerning the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol on Jan. 6 reveal witness accounts stating she was not holding a weapon at the time of her death and how "upset" the officer was after shooting her.

"These previously secret records show there was no good reason to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt," stated Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which obtained the documents through a May 2021 FOIA lawsuit. "The Biden-Garland Justice Department and the Pelosi Congress have much to answer for the over the mishandling and cover-up of this scandalous killing of an American citizen by the U.S. Capitol Police."

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was shot and killed during the storming of the Capitol by a bullet fired by Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd. The documents from the DC Metropolitan Police department show that witnesses did not see Babbitt holding a weapon prior to her being shot, and reveal conflicting accounts of whether Byrd verbally warned Babbitt before shooting her.

"Sergeant [redacted] never went on the other side of the barricaded east door. He also did not know that it was Lieutenant Byrd who shot his gun until he talked to him moments after it occurred. Lieutenant Byrd looked upset and stated, ‘I was the one who took the shot,’" the report continued.

Judicial Watch noted that in a written transcript of the interview with the sergeant, he detailed he was not sure "if something happened to" Byrd that "caused him to take the shot or not."

"Uh, I saw Lieutenant Byrd kinda. I don’t know if it was before or after. Cause I was trying to figure this out of, but there was at one point where I remember seeing him and he kind of went like this and then came back up again. Uh, I don’t know if that was from him taking the shot and then stepping back from that shot or if it was before that, I can’t, no matter how I tried to rack my brain, I can’t, I can’t figure out when that happened, but uh, so I don’t know if something happened to him where [sic] caused him to take the shot or not," the written transcript states.

The lawyer for the Babbitt family went so far as to allege that Capitol Police ambushed Ashli. Meanwhile, Lt. Byrd was interviewed by NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt where he said that his actions saved lives. Talk about giving the finger to the rest us, man. In an era where almost every police shooting is characterized as an assassination, we have this guy getting a pass and a hero’s welcome when all the facts have not been reviewed. But who needs to do that for this officer-involved shooting, right? A reportedly nutty conservative rioter was shot and killed. Next.



Too little, too late: President Biden steps in as delays cripple supply chain (CBS News)

“One heck of a job”: Biden incredulously lauds port czar — despite supply chain crisis (New York Post)

“High class problems”: Elitist White House chief of staff dismisses supply chain crisis and surging inflation (Fox News)

Leftmedia personified: Katie Couric covered up RBG’s dislike for taking a knee (Daily Mail)

Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million on nonprofits ahead of 2020 election — and got out the Dem vote (New York Post)

What’s the point of checking in? Leaked Border Patrol docs show mass release of illegal immigrants into U.S. by Biden administration (Fox News)

Five people onboard flight out of Afghanistan “intended to hijack the aircraft” (Daily Wire)

Suicides in the U.S. Army’s active-duty forces jump 46% (Fox News)

Five dead in Islamist bow and arrow attack in Norway (BBC)

Inflation returns to highest level in 13 years (

Social Security benefits to increase 5.9% in 2022 amid rising inflation (National Review)

Huge Social Security cost-of-living increase could accelerate trust’s depletion (Fox Business)

Drug overdose deaths hit record high during pandemic 12-month period (Washington Examiner)

Employer vaccine mandate a step closer to reality as OSHA submits rule text to OMB for review (Fox News)

Follow the Science™: Man’s kidney transplant canceled … because DONOR wasn’t vaccinated (New York Post)

The REAL cover-up: Virginia Democrats voted to allow schools to refrain from reporting sexual battery last year (National Review)

Seattle school cancels Halloween over “equity,” says black kids don’t celebrate (KTTH)

D'oh! Virginia city that removed police from schools following “defund the police” protests reinstates officers (Washington Examiner)

State school board groups disavow School Boards Association’s parent inquisition (Daily Signal)

Trump team claims Mark Milley never told them of China worries (Washington Times)




Thursday, October 14, 2021


Another article just up on my Food & Health blog saying that wine with dinner is good for you


Joe Biden’s bizarre presidency is like The Truman Show

Joe Biden has taken to staging media events at a fake White House set across the road from the real White House. He sits in a fake Oval Office behind a tiny desk in front of an ersatz window framing an outdated digital image of the Rose Garden in full spring bloom.

Former Trump aide Stephen Miller claims the imitation White House setup is designed so the President can read a script from a special monitor without being ­detected. But the charade has led to charges that Biden is running a “Truman Show presidency”, all smoke and mirrors and no substance.

To add to the inauthentic atmosphere, Vice President Kamala Harris released a bizarre YouTube video of herself last week with a group of young teens in which she gushes with patently fake enthusiasm about space exploration. The well-behaved kids, who turned out to be child actors, watch mutely as she waves her arms around in exaggerated fashion and uses a weird baby voice in the “Get Curious with Vice President Harris” video made to celebrate World Space Week.

“You guys are gonna see, you’re gonna literally see the craters on the moon with your own eyes,” she ­enthused, pointing at her bulging eyes as if she were talking to retarded toddlers. It’s hard to describe just how cringe-worthy the performance was but it sums up the awkwardness of her vice presidency, in which she has shirked jobs assigned her by Biden in favour of low-risk humanising roles to remedy her unpopularity before she takes a run at the top job.

As Biden’s polls numbers plummet and multiple crises erupt, Americans are growing alarmed at the curious passivity of a White House which seems focused exclusively on optics.

Every weekend at college games and other sporting events, crowds now chant “F--k Joe Biden”. At the NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway a couple of weeks ago, the crowd took up that chant as winner Brandon Brown was being interviewed. NBC reporter Kelli Stavast misheard the obscenity as “Let’s go Brandon!” and a meme was born.

Now “Let’s Go Brandon” chants and banners are popping up everywhere as a euphemism to express frustration at the president.

Biden seems oblivious. He just took another three-day weekend at his Delaware mansion and isn’t ­expected to address the supply chain problem that threatens Christmas supplies until Wednesday.

Illegal migration at the southern border is exploding, inflation is on the rise, petrol prices are up, the latest jobs numbers fell well below expectations, food shortages are setting in and shop shelves are half empty, cargo ships are piling up off the coast, and truck drivers are in short supply.

Biden won a wafer-thin victory last November, with an evenly split Senate and a tight majority in the House but is governing as if he had a massive mandate, pushing multi-trillion spending bills which can’t make it past squabbling members of his own party.

He inherited a stable border, vaccines already being rolled out at the rate of 1.5 million jabs a day, and a ­recovering economy but squandered it all with a spiteful determination to undo all things Trump.

As Donald Trump said at his rally in Iowa on the weekend: “If Biden would have just gone to the beach, just take it easy, enjoy the surf, he’d have a great border today.”

Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates are ­another self-created crisis, as workers quit or are fired for refusing to get vaccinated, throwing hospitals, transportation and other sectors of the economy into chaos.

On the weekend, Southwest Airlines cancelled as many as 2000 flights, using the official excuse of bad weather and staffing issues with air traffic controllers.

But the real reason reportedly was that large numbers of pilots, flight ­attendants and other staff had called in sick to protest the airline’s threat to fire them. Biden couldn’t care less about the pointless mayhem he’s ­unleashed in a country in which ­almost 70 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated and an estimated 115 million people have natural immunity to Covid, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Last week in a speech in Chicago he gave a shout out to United Airlines for raising its vaccination rate for employees from 59 per cent to 99 per cent.

He didn’t mention that the miraculous figure was achieved by firing people who refused to get vaccinated in order to comply with his December 8 deadline.

“When you see headlines and reports of mass firings, and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the bigger story,” he prattled ­blithely. “United went from 59 per cent of their employees [vaccinated] to 99 per cent”. No wonder he’s now more unpopular than Donald Trump, despite his sycophantic media.

A recent Quinnipiac poll had his approval rating at 38 per cent and disapproval at 53 per cent. A majority of voters disapprove of his handling of the economy (55 per cent), the military (58 per cent), taxes (54 per cent), foreign policy (58 per cent), immigration (67 per cent).

Even on Covid he is under water with 50 per cent disapproval versus 48 per cent approval.

Worse still, a majority of voters have savagely marked him down on personality traits such as honesty, leadership skills and whether he cares about the average American.

More than half of Americans (55 per cent) say his administration is not competent.

“Battered on trust, doubted on leadership, and challenged on overall competency, President Biden is being hammered on all sides as his approval rating continues its downward slide to a number not seen since the tough scrutiny of the Trump administration,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

As well, last month, a Fox News poll found fewer than half of Americans think Biden is “mentally stable” enough to hold his job.

Disproportionately it is independents who have turned on him. Their eyes were opened by the Afghanistan debacle in which 13 young American service members were killed in the botched withdrawal from Kabul airport and American citizens and Afghan allies were abandoned a few days after Biden vowed he would leave no one behind.

Last week his attorney-general Merrick Garland sicced the FBI onto parents protesting at school board meetings about left wing propaganda in the classroom – from critical race theory and gender ideology to racial quotas excluding Asian students and pandemic scare campaigns requiring kids to be masked and vaccinated without regard to their wellbeing.


Many Cities Are Reversing Course on 'Defund the Police'

It’s been a year since local officials across the U.S. voted to defund police departments in the wake of widespread protests over George Floyd’s death, but now, many are having a change of heart.

From coast to coast, police departments that were victim to the defund movement are now getting money back, The New York Times reports. In New York, for example, local officials have voted to give $200 million to the NYPD, while the LAPD got a 3 percent budget increase.

The abrupt reversals have come in response to rising levels of crime in major cities last year, the exodus of officers from departments large and small and political pressures. After slashing police spending last year, Austin restored the department’s budget and raised it to new heights. In Burlington, Vt., the city that Senator Bernie Sanders once led as mayor went from cutting its police budget to approving $10,000 bonuses for officers to stay on the job.

But perhaps nowhere has the contrast been as stark as in Dallas, where [Mayor Eric] Johnson not only proposed to restore money to the department but moved to increase the number of officers on the street, writing over the summer that “Dallas needs more police officers.” […]

After the mayor proposed increasing funding, no protests followed. When the Council backed a budget that restored many of the cuts made last year, few came to the public hearing, and even fewer spoke against the plan, which included the hiring of 250 officers. It passed with little fanfare last month. (NYT)

Conservatives weren’t surprised to see the 180 on police funding.



All 206 House Republicans voted against raising the debt ceiling (Insider)

Nancy Pelosi signals colossal spending package will shrink to only $2 trillion (Washington Examiner)

Not Leftmedia enough: Pelosi lectures reporters, says they “could do a better job selling” Build Back Better (Fox News)

Pelosi doubles down on the powerful IRS tracking bank accounts (

Revisionist historian Kamala Harris denounces European explorers for ushering in “wave of devastation” for Native Americans (Fox News)

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth to retire, giving GOP prime pickup opportunity (Washington Examiner)

DHS secretary orders ICE to stop worksite raids in latest limits on immigration enforcement (Fox News)

U.S. to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated (unless you’re an illegal immigrant) (AP)

Brave Marine who criticized military over Afghan withdrawal to plead guilty at court martial (CBS News)

Drivers wanted: U.S. supply chain can’t keep on trucking (Washington Times)

Supply chain crunch: White House admits “there will be things you can’t get” at Christmas (Breitbart)

A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, led by food and retail industries (CNBC)

Famed Art Institute of Chicago fires all docents, primarily white women. Critics charge racism. (Daily Wire)

“People don’t want to be the police:” Chicago and other cities suffering officer shortage, can’t find recruits (Daily Wire)

“I don’t know”: Ben and Jerry’s cofounder stumped when pressed about Israel boycott hypocrisy (Daily Wire)

Cancel culture failure: Professor booted from MIT lecture draws thousands for alternative online speech (Daily Wire)

Judge’s ruling strikes blow to Kentucky’s new school choice law (Louisville Courier Journal)

Second Facebook whistleblower is willing to testify before Congress (New York Post)

NBA team bans star player Kyrie Irving until he gets vaccine (Fox News)

Policy: America’s inflation problem won’t be solved by ignoring it (1945)




Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Virus of Biden’s Authoritarianism

More Americans died of COVID in 2021 than 2020. Is that Joe Biden’s fault?

“I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus.” —Joe Biden, October 30, 2020

“I promise you if I’m elected, I won’t waste any time getting this virus under control. I’ll call Dr. Fauci and ask him to stay on. I’ll bring together top experts and leaders from both parties to chart a path forward. We’ll get it done, together.” —Joe Biden, August 11, 2020

“If the president had done his job from the beginning, all the people [who have died from coronavirus] would still be alive.” —Joe Biden, September 17, 2020, when coronavirus deaths surpassed 200,000

To a certain extent, it’s true that a president is responsible for how he handles a crisis on his watch. That ought to be less true of a novel virus than, say, a deliberate and humiliating military surrender, but still. Unfortunately, Trump became the poster child for COVID misery — because Democrats and their Leftmedia allies made him so in order to defeat him in November.

Well, if a president is to be judged by how he handles a crisis — if Joe Biden is to be judged by the standard to which Joe Biden held Donald Trump — then Joe Biden is a colossal failure.

The U.S. recently passed 700,000 COVID deaths, not 200,000 as it stood before the election. Biden called this “astonishing.” The pandemic has claimed more Americans lives in 2021 than in 2020. (Insert caveats here for the whole “died of COVID” versus “died with COVID” debate.)

To a large extent, neither president is directly responsible for deaths caused by a virus (or comorbidity factors), especially when that virus was leaked from a Chinese lab.

A president does, however, set the tone for the national response, and both presidents bear some responsibility for how the virus has been politicized. But this is not a “well both sides did it” argument. The far greater fault lies with Biden.

It was Biden who hid in his basement for most of 2020 while armchair quarterbacking the hard work Trump’s team put into responding to a new threat. Trump surely hoped his response to the virus would help him win, but he didn’t have the entire mainstream media at his disposal as Biden did to weave a political narrative.

It was Democrats, not Republicans, who politicized the vaccines last year, insisting that they couldn’t possibly take one when the Bad Orange Man had anything to do with development. And it’s Democrats who continue to politicize the vaccines now through hectoring, cajoling, passports, and constitutionally dubious federal mandates. Masks, likewise, are more often a virtue signal or badge of party identification than they are useful tools.

If you think vaccines are beneficial and effective at preventing more serious illness or deaths — and there is evidence indicating that’s true — then you should be outraged that millions of Americans are choosing not to be vaccinated in large part because Democrats are now so adamant about it after hysterically warning against it just a few short months ago. How many unvaccinated Americans have died because of Democrat politicization?

If you think vaccines are a big conspiracy by the pharmaceutical companies or you merely wonder why everyone is inexplicably ignoring factors like natural immunity — and we’ve warned against ignoring it — then you should be outraged that an entire political party has vested its electoral hopes in forcing compliance among the entire population. And not just one shot. Not just two shots, either. But continued boosters. Likewise, you should be outraged that social media giants censor even legitimate questions about the vaccines.

These questions should be settled between patients and doctors, not a presidential diktat.

The gross irony of Biden’s authoritarianism is that we’re further from herd immunity than we would have been if anyone could trust the government or the “experts.” That has cost lives, and it’s on him.

“Today,” Biden told us on July 4, “we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.” Are we? Not if he can help it.


Let Life Resume

John Stossel

America remains bound by often extreme pandemic restrictions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying 6 feet away from others. In Oregon, everyone must wear a mask outdoors. In parts of the country, 2-year-olds must wear masks.

Are such rules necessary?

Recently, Denmark lifted all pandemic restrictions.

"Go Denmark!" cheers George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux in my latest video. "We in the United States should do the same."

"We reduced COVID, through vaccination, to a fairly mild ailment for the vast majority of people," says Boudreaux. "You don't have to worry if the bartender at your favorite bar is vaccinated or not. You are protected against suffering severe consequences. Get vaccinated, and then go about your life normally!"

Portugal and Sweden recently removed most restrictions, too. The United Kingdom ditched plans to require "vaccine passports."

"We don't have to continue to upend human life in our quest to eliminate COVID, which can't happen anyway," says Boudreaux.

"Why not?" I ask. "We eliminated smallpox."

"Smallpox resides only in human beings," explains Boudreaux. COVID-19 can live in animals -- bats, deer, dogs, cats. "We have never eliminated a disease that uses both humans and animals as reservoirs."

Still, China acted as if eliminating COVID-19 were possible.

They've kept deaths much lower (if you believe their numbers) than other countries by imposing nasty repressive measures like quarantines at gunpoint and even locking people in their homes.

"It's just awful. It's tyrannical. It's what you expect of a Communist tyrannical government," says Boudreaux.

Australia's been almost that tough. They've also imposed curfews and arrested people for not wearing masks. In some places, police proudly announced they "smashed windows of people in cars and pull them out ... because they weren't telling us where they were going."

Don't worry about losing freedom, says Daniel Andrews, premier of the state of Victoria. "They're not rules that are against you. They are rules for you."

"So say all dictators and tyrants," retorts Boudreaux.

These countries can't lock down forever. When the lockdowns stop, COVID-19 will return.

That's why Denmark ended COVID-19 restrictions.

"It's not admitting defeat; it's admitting reality," says Boudreaux. "We learn to live with COVID in the same way that we learn to live with many other pathogens. ... The bacteria that caused the Black Death is still circulating in the human population. A handful of people every year still die of it."

In the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, "Eradication of Covid is a dangerous and expensive fantasy."

"We live with countless hazards, each of which we could but sensibly choose not to eradicate. Automobile fatalities could be eradicated by outlawing motor vehicles. Drowning could be eradicated by outlawing swimming and bathing. Electrocution could be eradicated by outlawing electricity. We live with these risks not because we're indifferent to suffering but because we understand that the costs of zero-drowning or zero-electrocution would be far too great. The same is true of zero-Covid."

That's why, now that we have largely effective vaccines, he says it's time to end pointless lockdowns and do what Denmark is doing:

"Live life normally again! Travel, go to parties, weddings, sporting events. Live life and be joyous! Hopefully, humanity will come to its senses soon."

I hope he's right.


Experts Say Adults Who Contracted COVID-19 and Are Fully Vaccinated Do Not Need to Rush for a Booster Shot

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, several studies conducted by health experts and scientists show that individuals who’ve had COVID-19 and were fully vaccinated have strong protection against the virus, including variants like the Delta variant, and do not need a booster. The data, which was compiled by experts who specialize in vaccines and immunology, is preliminary and currently incomplete.

Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory panel on vaccines said to the WSJ that those who were infected and now vaccinated “just won the game.”

“I wouldn’t ask them to get a booster dose. I think they just got it,” Offit explained, meaning that their COVID-19 infection “counts” as their booster. The studies suggest that exposure to COVID-19 effectively serves as a dose of the vaccine, as it prompts the immune system to generate antibodies against the virus for the future. This combination of immunity from real-world exposure and infection compounded with the protection generated from the vaccine is known as “hybrid immunity.”

As we covered, President Biden announced in August that his administration plans to move forward with a coronavirus booster shot program for adults who are fully vaccinated. So far, only the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine booster has received approval from the FDA to be administered to limited age groups. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have not received approval for their boosters.

Since Biden’s announcement, two top officials at the FDA resigned due to the administration’s interference with booster shots, as Katie reported, claiming there is not enough data to support booster shots across all demographics.

According to CNBC, [t]wo senior Food and Drug Administration officials responsible for reviewing Covid-19 vaccine applications are leaving the federal agency this fall,” and that “[t]heir announced plans to depart come as the Biden administration prepares to begin offering Covid vaccine booster shots to the general public the week of Sept. 20. Some health experts saw the move as premature and political, especially because the FDA hasn’t finished reviewing data on boosters yet.”




Tuesday, October 12, 2021

British Health secretary’s alarm at ‘huge’ and growing problem of long Covid

Long COVID now has an official WHO clinical definition
Health secretary Sajid Javid has expressed alarm at the rising numbers of people suffering long Covid symptoms, telling a private meeting of health officials that the problem was “huge” and “getting bigger”.

The meeting was given an update on long Covid treatment, with NHS England bosses revealing 10 per cent of all clinic appointments were being taken up by NHS staff in a sign of the potential longer term impact of coronavirus and the risk it could undermine already depleted staffing levels.

NHS staff are most likely to be affected by long Covid, followed by staff in social care and teachers. As many as 125,000 NHS staff may be affected by persistent symptoms.

Public Health England has faced criticism over its guidance for NHS staff which suggested most should wear only basic surgical masks instead of higher grade masks to guard against airborne spread. Some NHS trusts have ignored the rules amid concern staff were being put at increased risk.

The meeting also heard that patients getting appointments at long Covid clinics were disproportionately white, with just under a fifth coming from the most deprived communities. This is despite infection levels overall being highest in these areas.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week revealed more than 1.1 million people were now reporting lasting symptoms from a Covid-19 infection, with 405,000 suffering its effects for more than a year.

The ONS found 211,000 people had reported their ability to carry out daily activities was being significantly affected by the condition.

Concerns over the potential impact of long Covid is rising in Whitehall as some officials fear the impact on the NHS and the wider economy. Patient groups have reported long delays in being seen, with some criticising doctors for not believing their symptoms.

At a roundtable update at the end of September, Mr Javid heard details from statisticians at the ONS setting out the scale of the problem and the wider prevalence of cases.

There were also “hideous” stories from two long Covid patients who urged the health secretary to do more.

Sources who attended the meeting said the minister highlighted “the new challenge” posed by the condition and that experts were still having to learn about it and understand what exactly it is.

After being told the latest estimates of people suffering for more than a year, the secretary of state said: “That’s huge. The numbers are only getting bigger.”

He urged those on the call from the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to listen to patient experiences as “we’re the ones that can do something”.

He described long Covid as a “hugely important topic” facing the government and said new health minister Maria Caulfield, a former nurse, would be leading the response.

Mr Javid told the meeting there was still a lack of consensus on what exactly long Covid was and how to measure it.

He also said the vaccination rollout to school children was an important step in protecting some youngsters as many would be unable to avoid being infected at some stage.

Cathy Hassell, director of clinical policy, quality and operations at NHS England, told the meeting the health service had achieved five of its 10 long Covid targets and now had every part of the country served by at least one dedicated clinic.

She said the number of appointments at clinics taken up by NHS staff was “disproportionately high” and work was going on to make sure affected NHS staff had access to specialist mental health hubs, occupational health service and rapid referral to the long Covid clinics.

The meeting was told that around 6,000 referrals were being made in each four-week period, with 4,000 specialist assessments and 5,000 follow-up appointments a month.

The meeting heard more action was needed to increase referrals as the numbers coming forward for help were much smaller than the levels of people reporting problems to the ONS. A new enhanced GP service has gone live this month which may help direct more patients to clinics.

Another concern was the demographics of those using the clinics. The meeting was told 63 per cent accessing the service were women, and 81 per cent were white. Only 17 per cent were from the most deprived areas.

This could mean ethnic minorities and people in the poorest areas, which were worst hit by the Covid pandemic, are not accessing help from the long Covid clinics.

The NHS has invested £125m in setting up clinics and providing better GP care for patients with lasting symptoms.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus – bringing together experts and setting up 90 specialist clinics covering the whole country, as well as collecting and publishing data on the demographics of patients referred with long Covid to develop a greater understanding of this new condition.

“Anyone who is concerned about long-lasting symptoms following Covid-19 should continue to get in touch with their GP practice so they can get a referral or go online to the NHS ‘Your Covid Recovery’ website for further advice.”


The January 6 Insurrection Hoax

it is absolutely critical to the Democrat Party narrative that the incident be made to seem as violent and crazed as possible.

Notwithstanding all the hysterical rhetoric surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, two critical things stand out. The first is that what happened was much more hoax than insurrection. In fact, in my judgment, it wasn’t an insurrection at all.

An “insurrection,” as the dictionary will tell you, is a violent uprising against a government or other established authority. Unlike the violent riots that swept the country in the summer of 2020 — riots that caused some $2 billion in property damage and claimed more than 20 lives — the January 6 protest at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. lasted a few hours, caused minimal damage, and the only person directly killed was an unarmed female Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer. It was, as Tucker Carlson said shortly after the event, a political protest that “got out of hand.”

At the rally preceding the events in question, Donald Trump had suggested that people march to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically” — these were his exact words — in order to make their voices heard. He did not incite a riot; he stirred up a crowd. Was that, given the circumstances, imprudent? Probably. Was it an effort to overthrow the government? Hardly.

I know this is not the narrative that we have all been instructed to parrot. Indeed, to listen to the establishment media and our political masters, the January 6 protest was a dire threat to the very fabric of our nation: the worst assault on “our democracy” since 9/11, since Pearl Harbor, and even — according to Joe Biden last April — since the Civil War!

Note that phrase “our democracy”: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and various talking heads have repeated it ad nauseam. But you do not need an advanced degree in hermeneutics to understand that what they mean by “our democracy” is their oligarchy. Similarly, when Pelosi talks about “the people’s house,” she doesn’t mean a house that welcomes riff-raff like you and me.

I just alluded to Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed supporter of Donald Trump who was shot and killed on January 6. Her fate brings me to the second critical thing to understand about the January 6 insurrection hoax. Namely, that it was not a stand-alone event.

On the contrary, what happened that afternoon, and what happened afterwards, is only intelligible when seen as a chapter in the long-running effort to discredit and, ultimately, to dispose of Donald Trump — as well as what Hillary Clinton might call the “deplorable” populist sentiment that brought Trump to power.

In other words, to understand the January 6 insurrection hoax, you also have to understand that other long-running hoax, the Russia collusion hoax. The story of that hoax begins back in 2015, when the resources of the federal government were first mobilized to spy on the Trump campaign, to frame various people close to Trump, and eventually to launch a full-throated criminal investigation of the Trump administration.

Which brings me back to Ashli Babbitt, the long-serving Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by a nervous Capitol Police officer. Babbitt was a useful prop when the media was in overdrive describing the January 6 events as an “armed insurrection” in which wild Trump supporters, supposedly at Trump’s instigation, attacked the Capitol with the intention of overturning the 2020 election.

According to that narrative, five people, including Babbitt, died in the skirmish. Moreover, it was said, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by a raging Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher. That gem of a story about the fire extinguisher, reported in our former paper of record, The New York Times, was instantly picked up by other media outlets and spread like a Chinese virus.

Of course, it is absolutely critical to the Democratic Party narrative that the January 6 incident be made to seem as violent and crazed as possible. Hence the comparisons to 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and the Civil War. Only thus can pro-Trump Americans be excluded from “our democracy” by being branded as “domestic extremists” if not, indeed, “domestic terrorists.”

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution accords American citizens the right to a speedy trial. But most of the political prisoners of January 6 — many of whom have been kept in solitary confinement — are still waiting to be brought to trial. And although the media was full of predictions that they would be found guilty of criminal sedition, none has.

Indeed, the prosecution’s cases seem to be falling apart. Most of the hundreds who have been arrested are being charged with trespassing. Another charge being leveled against them is “disrupting an official proceeding.” This is a felony charge designed not for ceremonial procedures like the January 6 certification of the vote, but rather for disrupting Congressional inquiries — for example, by shredding documents relevant to a Congressional investigation. It originated during the George W. Bush administration to deal with the Enron case.

The indisputable fact about January 6 is that although five people died at or near the Capitol on that day or soon thereafter, none of these deaths was brought about by the protesters. The shot fired by Capitol Police Officer Michael Byrd that hit Ashli Babbitt in the neck and killed her was the only shot fired at the Capitol that day. No guns were recovered from the Capitol on January 6. Zero.

The liberal commentator Glenn Greenwald further diminished the “armed insurrection” narrative in an important column last February titled “The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot.” The title says it all. Kevin Greeson, Greenwald notes, was killed not by the protesters but died of a heart attack outside the Capitol. Benjamin Philips, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, died of a stroke that day. Rosanne Boyland, another Trump supporter, was reported by The New York Times to have been inadvertently “killed in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line.” But later video shows that, far from that, the police pushed protesters on top of Boyland and would not allow other protesters to pull her out.

Four of the five who died, then, were pro-Trump protesters. And the fifth? Well, that was Officer Sicknick — also a Trump supporter, as it turned out — who, contrary to the false report gone viral of The New York Times, went home, told his family he felt fine, but died a day later from, as The Washington Post eventually and grudgingly reported, “natural causes.” No fire extinguishers were involved in his demise.