Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mutant COVID strain spreads as AstraZeneca war erupts

A fast-moving coronavirus variant found in the UK has spread to more than 70 countries as AstraZeneca invokes the wrath of the EU over vaccine shortages.

The new and more contagious COVID-19 variant first spotted in Britain has now spread to 70 countries — 10 more than a week ago, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday (local time).

In its latest epidemiological update, the UN health agency also said the variant of the virus first found in South Africa had spread to eight more countries in the past week and was now present in 31 nations; meanwhile another variant discovered in Brazil had spread to eight countries.

It comes as global cases passed 100 million and more than 18,000 people worldwide died of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a new grim record amid the battle to stem the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the EU has demanded that AstraZeneca make up delays of its COVID-19 vaccine by supplying doses from its UK factories on Wednesday (local time) risked setting the bloc and Britain on a post-Brexit collision course.

Both the European Union and former member Britain insisted the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company uphold contractual delivery promises to each of them — even as the company said there was not enough to go around.

“The 27 European Union member states are united that AstraZeneca needs to deliver on its commitments in our agreements,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides told a Brussels media conference.

“We expect contracts to be adhered to. AstraZeneca has committed to two million doses a week here in the UK and we do not expect that to change,” Mr Johnson’s spokesman said.

The row was triggered last Friday when AstraZeneca informed the EU that it could only supply a quarter of the vaccine doses it had promised for the first three months of this year.

That infuriated the European Commission, which is planning this week to add the AstraZeneca vaccine to two others it has already authorised — from BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna — to help reach a goal of inoculating 70 per cent of adults in the EU by the end of August.

The anger became incandescent when AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot on Tuesday gave an interview saying his company was prioritising supplies to the UK, which had signed its contract three months before the EU did, and was required only to make a “best effort” to supply the bloc.

Kyriakides said that went against the terms of the contact AstraZeneca signed with the European Commission.

“The view that the company is not obliged to deliver because we signed a ‘best effort’ agreement is neither correct nor is it acceptable,” she said.

“We reject the logic of first-come, first-served. That may work at the neighbourhood butcher’s but not in contracts, and not in our advanced purchase agreements.”

Should AstraZeneca start diverting vaccine supply from the two UK plants, however, that could jeopardise Mr Johnson’s commitment to have 15 million Britons vaccinated by mid-February.

Already, thanks mainly to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Britain is one of the leading countries for the pace at which it is inoculating its population — doing so at five times the rate of EU member states collectively.

A sudden slowdown in those doses would be dramatic, especially as Britain has suffered the highest death toll from COVID-19 of any European country and Mr Johnson is counting on the vaccinations to stem deaths

Tensions between the EU and Britain remain high in the wake of Brexit, with British traders and consumers suffering as they cope with higher costs and bureaucracy outside of the European single market.

The EU, meanwhile, plans to grill AstraZeneca further in a meeting with its executives later Wednesday (local time). There was some confusion, though, over the videoconference, with one EU official saying the company had abruptly pulled out but AstraZeneca saying it would attend.


So It’s Safe to Talk about Joe Biden’s Corruption, Flaws and Mental Decline Again

That didn’t take long! Apparently, the moratorium on stating truthful facts about Joe Biden’s corrupt family dealings, his weirdo hands-on approach with women and little girls, and his severe mental decline has been lifted. Just in the last few days, the Washington Post has noticed something truly alarming: Joe Biden seems to be a doddering old fool with dementia. He’s not quite the same old vigorous Joe who ran such a robust, energetic campaign in 2020!

It’s as if the media is suddenly admitting what all of us knew all along: Joe Biden is probably not long for this world. They may as well begin reporting on some of the sleazier truths of Joe Biden, now that he is no longer needed.

For example, Politico – Politico, of all places (!) – is reporting that one of Joe Biden’s revenue streams is suddenly refusing to reveal who his donors are. Now that the media is no longer wildly disinterested in vetting Joe Biden, it turns out that something called the “Biden Institute” was founded at the University of Delaware in 2017. That was the first year that Biden was out of office, you may remember.

Yeah, I had never heard of this “Institute” before either – that’s how much the media avoided looking into Joe Biden for four years, even though everyone was pretty sure he was going to run for office in 2020.

Anyway, Politico notes that this Biden Institute is being quite a bit less subtle than the Clinton Foundation ever was. If someone wants to curry some sort of favor with the Biden administration, they should feel free to make a generous donation to the Biden Institute, winka winka.

Oh, and it gets even sleazier!

At the University of Pennsylvania, there’s also a previously-unheard-of thing called the “Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.” The man who has been running the Penn Biden Center since it was founded in 2018 is a guy named Tony Blinken. That name might sound familiar to you, since Tony Blinken is Biden’s nominee to be the new US Secretary of State.

The Penn Biden Center under Blinken’s leadership took in more than $20 million in anonymous donations from Chinese nationals. And the Penn Biden Center is now refusing to disclose the identities of those Chinese donors.

Almost every dime that the Penn Biden Center raked in over a two-year period came exclusively from anonymous Chinese donors. Yet not one Republican in Blinken’s Senate confirmation hearing bothered to ask about it. They were too busy complimenting Blinken while nervously asking questions about the embassy in Jerusalem.

Since the Penn Biden Center is almost entirely bought and paid for by anonymous Chinese donors, you should know that there are a few other people who worked there who are also moving over to the White House this week.

The list includes White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, Brian McKeon who will be headed to the State Department, the new Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, the new deputy UN ambassador Jeff Prescott, and three other people that Biden has appointed to the National Security Council.

See how that scam works? All of these people are required, obviously, to fill out financial disclosures during the nominating process. But they’re all just going to write that they were paid salaries by this Penn Biden Center. And the Penn Biden Center is refusing to disclose its list of anonymous donors from Communist China.

Bought. And. Paid. For.

The good news for the media is that the Biden-Chinese-money funnel is a scandal that won’t impact their preferred fake president, Kamala Harris. Now that Joe Biden no longer serves any purpose in the communist takeover of America, the press can feel safe about digging into the corrupt Biden family cesspool.

Once that happens, look for Joe Biden to have some sort of health emergency that requires him to step down.

Here’s another reason why this is all significant. None of the money that flowed into the Penn Biden Center from Communist China had anything to do with Hunter Biden. The Biden family can’t just pawn that off on their black sheep of an excuse for a son. This is Joe Biden’s money scandal – and his alone. Which gives the puppet masters one more reason to take Joe back behind the barn and give him the Old Yeller treatment.


The Left Wants Unconditional Surrender, Not Unity

About two years ago, one of my wife's best friends began to turn down invitations to get together. Then, out of the blue, she unfriended my wife on Facebook.

That's kind of a rude way to brush off someone, so my wife finally asked her: What gives? Have I offended you? Her terse text response was full of self-righteousness: "John (her husband) and I are so appalled by the things that Steve writes that we don't want to associate with you anymore."

I wasn't offended that they disagree with my positions or even that they felt our political disagreements are so wide that we probably shouldn't hang out together anymore. After all, we are two Americas today.

What stuck in my craw was the word "appalled." It was her way of saying: "We are better people than you. We have higher standards." "Appalled" is the outrage you feel when someone gets drunk and starts hitting on your wife.

I recite the incident because it is an example of how liberals have anointed themselves as not just intellectually but morally superior to those on the right. Welcome to the "religious left."

A case in point: the Boston Globe recently printed a front-page opinion piece by the paper's liberal columnist Yvonne Abraham, who denounced the idea of any "unity" agenda with Republicans or conservatives. "Here's the thing about unity," she snuffed. "To achieve it, you have to believe in a common good. And most members of this Republican Party have demonstrated over and over that they simply don't." You can't find common ground with a movement "defined by lies."

Of course, the irony here is that it is President Joe Biden, not Republicans, who is pledging an agenda to unify the country. But so far, the new administration's position seems to be: Why bother to find common ground when you control all of the levers of governmental power and you can steamroll over them instead?

What is to be gained by uniting with people who are "white supremacists" or "insurrectionists"?

Most everyone I know on the right agrees that violence is rarely, if ever, an acceptable form of political protest.

Do liberals? The new vice president of the United States called the liberal mobs who ransacked cities this summer "social justice warriors." Apparently, it is excusable to burn down a building or assault a police officer if you are protesting racial injustice, climate change, abortion rights or cuts in social programs.

The Trump Haters say that the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol are guilty of a treasonable offense. OK, but several years ago, when many thousands of "social justice warriors" (i.e., union thugs) stormed past the police and occupied the domed Capital building in Madison for days, the media celebrated.

Abraham is right about unity. America is now a country divided into Hatfields and McCoys. In just his first four days in office, it's clear there isn't going to be any unifying of the country under Biden. That was a hollow campaign slogan that has swirled down the drain as the White House issued executive orders, such as killing the Keystone XL pipeline, that have infuriated conservatives. The absurd House snap-impeachment of former President Donald Trump a few days before he was to leave office was absurd enough, but not nearly as divisive as the apparent Senate plans to go ahead with a trial.

Biden said he "doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States." Really? Then why is one of his first proposals a blue-state bailout to the tune of $350 billion -- to be paid by the Republicans in red states. That is a financial insurrection against the half of the states that are not run by Democrats.

The left doesn't want unity with the right. It wants submission. They don't think we live up to their standards of proper behavior and righteousness.

If these are the people that are collectively "unfriending" us on Facebook and in the grocery stores, that's fine by us. Frankly, the feeling is mutual.



Rule by decree: Joe Biden sets record with at least 21 executive orders in first week (Breitbart)

Senate confirms Janet Yellen as treasury secretary (UPI)

Supreme Court throws out lawsuit alleging Trump profited illegally from presidency (Post Millennial)

"It has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock": Ohio Senator Rob Portman not running for reelection in 2022 (Fox News)

Biden admin to "speed up" efforts to place Harriet Tubman on $20 bill honor gun-wielding Republican who freed Democrat slaves (National Review)

New York Times claims Dr. Fauci has "commitment to hard facts" after he admitted to paper he lied about herd immunity (Fox News)

Unity! Biden officially ends Trump's ban on troops suffering from gender dysphoria (American Military News)

Thousands of National Guard troops to remain in DC for Trump impeachment trial (Examiner)

Testing Biden: For second straight day, China provokes Taiwan — and the U.S. (NY Post)

Moderna says its vaccine is effective in blocking new COVID strains (UPI)

Globally, job losses from coronavirus were four times as bad as the 2009 financial crisis (AP)

And not a minute too soon: Seattle police chief announces tougher policy of prosecuting anarchists (Seattle Times)

Ironic: Baltimore "Safe Streets" gun control advocate shot and killed (TTAG)



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